Refuelling Delhi - NCR

February 07, 2023

Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) released an order for industries of Delhi NCR in June 2022 to shift towards cleaner fuels like Piped Natural Gas (PNG), biomass etc., banning polluting fuels like coal and coke. The order set a deadline of 30.09.2022 for industries to shift to PNG (wherever PNG supply is available) or biomass-based fuels and a deadline of 31.12.2012 for the industries in NCR (where PNG supply is not available) to shift to one of the approved fuels.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) conducted anon-ground survey of the industries in Bhiwadi and Matsya Industrial Areas of Alwar district in Rajasthan to understand their transitioning towards cleaner fuels. The survey focused on the following aspects:

  1. The degree and nature of the fuel shift
  2. The changes and tentative cost required to make this fuel shift
  3. The challenges which industries are facing during the fuel shift to PNG and biomass
  4. The strategies being adopted by industries to combat the challenges they face in making the fuel shift.

CSE’s analysis found that industries are majorly shifting towards PNG and biomass. With respect to PNG use, there are both benefits and challenges. Benefits being that PNG is particulate emissions-free, easy to handle and no additional space is required for its storage unlike solid and liquid fuels. Some of the major challenges with PNG are the availability issues and soaring gas prices. Due to Russia-Ukraine war, PNG supply is hampered and the industries are provided only with 70-80 per cent of the contracted PNG quantity. Prices of PNG have almost doubled in the last two years. Industries are found adopting different strategies to combat these challenges.

With respect to biomass use, easy availability, most affordable fuel and different sources of procurement are some of the major benefits. However, the main challenge is to bring down the particulate emissions below 80 or 50 mg/Nm3 as per the norms set by CAQM for industries using biomass as primary fuel. Most of the industries were found using inefficient air pollution control devices (APCDs) because of which they are not able to bring down the emissions to the desired level. Only few among the surveyed industries had online emission monitoring system in place.


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