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The RNG sector in India is still nascent and emerging. With the government of India launching the SATAT initiative for setting up 5000 RNG plants by 2025 and guaranteed offtake of RNG, the sector is expected to have many large stakeholders in the near future. As of 2018, there are 17 RNG plants operational across various states of India. Some of these companies are also technology providers while most of the others are collocated plants. The following table provides details on the type of feedstock, technology and end use market segments for these companies. Data have been provided through a mix of primary and secondary research.
|Company||About||Feedstock||Technology||Product||Plant location||Year of plant operation||Notes||Source|
RNG plants operational as of 2018
|Green Elephant||Biogas production company and technology provider||600m3/day spent wash||CSTR – (Continuous stirred tank reactor technology)||7920 kg RNG / day Supplied to industries||Satara, Maharashtra||2008||Current operational capacity not clear||https://bit.ly/2RCcY9K|
|Spectrum Renewable Energy Limited||Biogas production||100 TPD press mud||CSTR type reactor||8000 kg RNG/day Supplied to industries||Kolhapur, Maharashtra||2012||The company is also looking to supply RNG to IOCL||https://bit.ly/357538l|
|Carbon Masters||Carbon management company producing RNG and also a technology provider||40 tons/day of wet waste including food waste, cow dung and poultry litter.||Carbonlites-In-A-Box technology – biogas plant housed in refurbished shipping containers||1600 kg RNG/ day Supplied to restaurants||Malur, Karnataka||2017||They have their own RNG logistics for collection from restaurants, apartments and IT parks. Also procure from waste management companies||https://bit.ly/2ParsvX|
|Primove Engineering||RNG production from agro waste and technology provider||100 kg / day of rice straw and Bajra procured from farms and fields through compacted trucks||Patented process using innovative bacteria without extensive pre-treatment of feedstock||12 m3 / day of biogas 5 kg RNG / day
|Pune||2008||They have their own dispensing station||https://bit.ly/2LG9OOf|
|Mahindra World City||Part of Mahindra Group active in diverse markets including automotive, farm equipment, defence, hospitality, manufacturing, aerospace, retail, finance, real estate, and infrastructure.||8 tons of food and kitchen waste per day generated at Mahindra World City||MRV, MWCDL, KVIC and IIT Delhi technology||1000 m3 of raw biogas 400 kg/day RNG
Used for tractors, shuttle buses and street lights inside MWC
|Bharat Biogas Energy Ltd.||RNG production and organic products production for agronomic applications||153 TPD urban and 38 TPD industrial waste||No data||6538 kg/day RNG Supplying to Amul||Gujarat||2014||–||https://bit.ly/2PuhaFH|
|Radix Lifespaces||Generates energy from organic waste and also a technology provider||40 TPD (chicken litter, waste from food manufacturing companies, food waste)||Proprietary technology including purification and upgradation||2000 kg/day RNG Supplying to commercial and industrial segments||Bangalore||2016||They tag the price of RNG to LPG and sell it at a reduced cost.||–|
|RNG plants whose operations unclear|
|Sampurn Agri Ventures Pvt. Ltd.||First biogas production company to produce from paddy straw||25 tons/day of Paddy straw and other agricultural wastes||IIT Delhi Technology||3000 m3/day of biogas||Punjab||2017||Actual existence and operation of plant is not clear||–|
|Defunct RNG plants|
|IOT Infrastructure and Energy Services Ltd & Mabagas||EPC services, upstream services||Chicken litter, starch and sugar industry wastes, agro waste||Single step wet fermentation plant comprising 4 fermenters 16,000 cu.m volume||8 million cu.m biogas / annum||Namakkal||2013||Mabagas has been shut down and the plant has been acquired by IOCL who is setting up a pilot scale RNG plant from agro waste||https://bit.ly/38hlaC2|
|Noble Exchange||Pune based firm operating in the renewable energy business and waste management solutions||300 TPD plant at Pune using food waste Operational capacity – 100 TPD||Proprietary one-box biogas technology||12000 m3 of RNG per day Fuel was to be used for PMPML buses||Pune||2015||The plant was closed in 2016 due to political issues||https://bit.ly/36kgMQT|
Other operational RNG plants
|Company||Location||Feedstock||RNG capacity (kg/day)||Website|
|Greenearth Biogas Pvt Ltd.||Gujarat||163 TPD urban waste||6000||https://bit.ly/2P9yGQS|
|Sarovar Agro Farms & Biogas Pvt. Ltd||Haryana||Poultry litter||600||–|
|Panchkula Farms Pvt. Ltd||Chandigarh||Poultry litter||1450||–|
|Shri Dayoday Urja Evam Jaivik Khaad||MP||Cattle dung||1200||–|
|Clarus Bioenergy Pvt. Ltd||Maharashtra||Cattle dung||3613||–|
|Arc Biofuel Pvt. Ltd||Punjab||Cattle dung||1847||https://bit.ly/2RG9H9h|
|Brajdham Power Pvt. Ltd||Rajasthan||STP||3000||https://bit.ly/2PtnQnH|
|NRB Bio-Energy||Rajasthan||Cattle dung||1000||https://bit.ly/35btsta|
|Samagra Agro||UP||Urban waste||2000||–|
|Century Pulp & Paper||Uttarakhand||Paper mill effluent||5460||https://bit.ly/2YyTVOU|
Based on the above data, the following are the analysis of RNG production companies by parameters across the value chain.
- Feedstock: Co-digestion plants comprising a mix of food waste, industrial waste (press mud, chicken litter, etc.) as feedstock are ideal for reliable renewable natural gas production.
- Relying on food waste alone is not ideal, especially for large scale plants owing to political issues
- While agro waste, in particular paddy straw seems to be a potential feedstock for renewable natural gas production, the technology is still nascent and no large scale plants exist as of end 2019.
- Technology: Commonly used technology is CSTR reactor; however, proprietary technology based on containerized models also exist for medium scale plants of 50 TPD capacity
- Ideal plant capacity for a commercial scale plant could be in the range of 50-100 TPD or 2000-5000 kg of renewable natural gas per day
- End use markets: Commercial and industrial segments are suitable end user markets owing to increased RNG adoption rate and higher selling price. While potential demand exists from the OMCs for RNG, offtake has started only recently in Dec 2019, and the offtake price has not been so attractive to the project developers (Rs. 46 / kg) compared to other end use segments (Rs. 55-60 / kg). Hence, this segment could be focused when there is a sufficient production of RNG and long term realizable business partnerships with OMCs have been ensured
- Differentiation models: Adopting differentiated business models across the value chain could help the companies hold a unique position in the market. This would include models like tagging the price of RNG with LPG, partnerships with bulk waste generators for feedstock who, in turn, could be potential customers for RNG and more.
- Related background: It is essential for an entrepreneur to build a proper team, especially at higher positions with people having technical and market expertise in the field of biogas and related energy sectors. The team could also comprise experts or partners who have experience in working with related international companies as this could assist in brand building, technology innovations and marketing
- R&D: Innovations across the value chain, especially technology is essential for the project developer to hold a unique position in the market
- Business partnerships: Partnerships with Indian and International stakeholders, especially prominent companies across the value chain could be value adding for the growth of the business
- Marketing: Brand building and effective marketing strategies to increase the demand for the product is essential for the project developer to actively compete with existing and emerging companies
- Geography: Most of the existing renewable natural gas plants are located in the eastern part of India, especially Gujarat and Maharashtra. This could be owing to the abundant availability of feedstock, especially agro and industrial waste and also the growing awareness.
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