Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Initiative
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Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Initiative

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Economics

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Initiative

Why in the news?

The Information regarding SATAT was given by the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

Background:

The Government of India has launched the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative on 1.10.2018 to promote CBG as an alternative, green transport fuel for efficient management of biomass and organic waste.

What is it? 

Compressed Biogas (CBG) can be produced from biomass and organic waste sources like paddy straw & farm stubble, agricultural residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, distillery spent wash, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, forest residue, etc.

As part of the SATAT scheme, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Gail (India) Limited, and Indraprastha Gas Limited had launched an Expression of Interest (EoI) for procurement of CBG from the entrepreneurs at an assured price. 

The CBG shall be sold to automobiles as a clean fuel in a similar way to CNG and can also be sold to domestic, industrial, and commercial consumers which are using LPG and other fuels. The SATAT initiative has the potential of addressing environmental problems arising from stubble burning. The viability is based on techno-commercial factors.

How does it work?

CBG produced at these plants will be transported through cascades of cylinders to the fuel station networks of OMCs for marketing as a green transport fuel alternative.

The entrepreneurs would be able to separately market the other by-products from these plants, including bio-manure, carbon-dioxide, etc., to enhance returns on investment.

This initiative is expected to generate direct employment for 75,000 people and produce 50 million tonnes of bio-manure for crops. 

There are multiple benefits from converting agricultural residue, cattle dung, and municipal solid waste into CBG

on a commercial scale:

1. Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions, and pollution.

2. Additional revenue source for farmers.

3. Boost entrepreneurship, rural economy, and employment.

4. Support national commitments in achieving climate change goals.

5. Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil.

6. Buffer against crude oil/gas price fluctuations.  

What is Bio- Gas?

Biogas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste/biomass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has a pure methane content of over 95%. 

What is CBG?

Compressed Biogas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. With calorific value (~52,000 KJ/kg) and other properties similar to CNG, Compressed Biogas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel. 

Way ahead:

The potential for Compressed Biogas production from various sources in India is estimated at 62 million tonnes per annum. Going forward, Compressed Biogas networks can be integrated with city gas distribution (CGD) networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets. Besides retailing from OMC fuel stations, Compressed Biogas can at a later date be injected into CGD pipelines too for efficient distribution and optimized access of a cleaner and more affordable fuel.