The facility acquires over 38,000 metric tonnes of Parali through agreements between the CBG plant and aggregators. These aggregators purchase stubble from farmers and subsequently deliver it to the plant, effectively curbing the issue of stubble burning and ensuring a sustainable raw material supply for the facility.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s (HPCL) Compressed Biogas (CBG) plant in Badaun district, Uttar Pradesh, scheduled for operation by November 2022, faced a setback due to the unavailability of the required raw material, ‘parali’ (paddy stubble), hindering the commencement of production. This challenge persisted despite approximately 34% of the total land in the Bareilly division being dedicated to paddy cultivation.
In an attempt to partially fulfill its requirements, the plant endeavored to source stubble from Punjab and Haryana. However, this approach proved to be neither sustainable nor economically viable, primarily due to the exorbitant costs associated with transporting the material from outside the state.
“Our plant has the capability to generate 14.25 tonnes of CBG from 100 tonnes of parali per day. With an annual parali requirement of 35,000 tonnes, despite our best efforts, we faced challenges in sourcing the necessary parali to initiate commercial operations,” revealed Suvendu Gupta of HPCL.
“Currently, the plant has procured 50% of its annual parali requirement, which amounts to 35,000 metric tonnes (MT), from local farmers within the region for the ongoing season, enabling the commencement of CBG production from paddy stubble,” he added.
It is asserted that this initiative has not only provided an additional source of income for farmers but has also led to a substantial decrease in stubble burning within the division this year.
Bareilly Divisional Commissioner Saumya Agarwal showcased this success story as a case study during a recent video conference led by Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, who praised the efforts.
“When I became aware of the HPCL’s Badaun CBG plant being inactive due to a shortage of stubble, I took the initiative to find a solution. I convened a meeting with the relevant departments, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), and representatives from the CBG ,Agarwal explained.
Assisted by the marketing and agriculture departments, the CBG plant established agreements with aggregators willing to purchase stubble from farmers and subsequently deliver it to the plant at a rate of ₹3,400 per quintal.
Consequently, a total of 73 aggregators have committed to supplying 38,291 MT of ‘parali’ to the Badaun plant. Moreover, endeavors to augment the availability of highly subsidized balers in the division yielded positive results, increasing from 18 in June 2022 to 36 in 2023.
“The impact was immediate and substantial. Instances of ‘parali’ burning, a significant environmental concern, plummeted from 735 in 2021 to a mere 187 in the current year. Additionally, this initiative aided aggregators and farmers in boosting their income,” asserted Agarwal, a 2008 IAS officer.