Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme
Government of Pakistan is currently facing an unprecedented energy crisis. Shortage of energy, including both electricity and gas, is considered to be a major road block to Pakistan’s rapid economic growth and poverty reduction. The prices of both continue to increase due to a sharp increase in their demand, adding to the worries of the crises-hit dwellers. The consumers are facing many difficulties because of gas load shedding. In rural areas LPG is the only alternative to firewood or coal but LPG prices have already jumped to Rs100 per kilogram that makes LPG unaffordable to the rural communities.
In present scenario, it is almost impossible for the Government to provide sui-gas facility to the residents of rural areas. However, the Biogas Plants act as a useful source for providing gas facility to the households. Pakistan has a great potential for domestic biogas because of the availability of sufficient animal dung, water, ambient temperature, the availability of construction materials, enough space for plant installation, freedom from floods, and availability of human resources for the construction of plant.
Based on the successful experience of implementing biogas programmes in a number of other Asian countries, Winrock International, UNDP Pakistan and SNV (Netherlands Development Organization) carried out a feasibility study with the collaboration of RSPN for establishing a large-scale household biogas programme in Pakistan in early 2007. The Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP), supported by the Rural Support Programme-Network (RSPN) installed 12 biogas installations of 6m3 of the Nepalese GGC 2047 design in Sialkot district and the Foundation for Integrated Development Action (FIDA), also supported by the RSPN constructed 3 GGC 2047 installations (8, 20 and 35m3) in Dera Ismail Khan district in June 2007. This study explored that there was a sufficient market for Biogas Plants. Then, a complete plan was designed for implementing the whole set up in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Domestic Biogas programme was started in January 2009 by RSPN with the financial support of SNV and the advisory support of Winrock International. The agreement among parties was signed in December 2008. Now, the programme is funded by EKN since November 2009.
Geographic scope of the project and partners
From the geographical prospective, Pakistan has a total of 68,000 villages out of these only 4,000 villages are blessed with natural gas. Punjab is the country's most populous region with about 56% of Pakistan's total population. Moreover, the central Punjab including Faisalabad, Sargodha, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Sahiwal, Okara, Pak patan, Sheikhupura, Hafzabad, Mandi Bhauddin, Khushab, Mianwali, Bhakar etc is considered to be the most potential area for starting the programme. The main Office of Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme is in Faisalabad which was started in January 2009. However, PDBP has three QCCs (Quality Control Centers) in Jhang, Sargodha and Toba Tek Singh Respectively that were started working in December 2009.
Currently, entities like Biogas Construction Companies (BCC), Training institutes, Local NGOs and Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) are our major stakeholders. Each one is performing its role on demand or supply side.
Prior, there was no commercial biogas sector in Pakistan that is why no commercial BCC was available at start. Now, PDBP has trained many Masons and BCCs. Currently, PDBP has 16 BCCs functioning in four districts of central Punjab. These BCCs have many trained masons working under their companies. They are not only constructing the plants but also giving four years guarantee to households that involve 3 annual maintenance visits, at which a trained biogas mason of the BCC visit the installation and checks for proper functioning and operation. They are also playing important role in creating demand through providing successful plants and satisfactory services to existing users.
In order to train the work force, PDBP signed MOU with GCT (Government College of Technology). It acts as a training institute for our programme. It is not only providing training facilitates but also giving boarding facilities to the Masons and BCCs who come from distant places. Moreover, three teachers of GCT were also trained regarding biogas technology and now they are working as trainer for PDBP.
PDBP has also signed MOU with different Local NGOs belonging to each operational district. Presently, there are seven NGOs that are working for generating demands for biogas plants. These NGOs have strong contacts in their respective areas that help them to bring demand for us. They also organize different villages meetings for generating awareness regarding Biogas technology. PDBP staff members supervise those meetings in order to ensure proper dissemination of information.
PRSP is also one of the strong partners. They are also arranging different village meetings on large scale in order to create more and more awareness among people about Biogas uses and effectiveness. Their Social Organizers (SOs) or Field Coordinators (FCs) are playing a vital role in generating demand for biogas plants.
Salient features of the project
The main objective of the national domestic biogas programme is to improve the livelihoods and quality of life of the farmers in Pakistan by establishing a commercially viable biogas sector. Biogas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by feeding animal dung (especially the manure of buffaloes, cattle and sheep) and water into an airtight underground tank known as digester and allowing it to decompose. It is produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen.
The programme works by focusing on supply and demand side. The major role players at the supply side are Biogas Construction Companies (BCCs), providing biogas construction and after sales services to households and Training institutes. However, at the demand side of the sector, PDBP has involved different local NGOs and PRSP.
PDBP offers a rebate (discount) of Rs 7500/- in order to stimulate the demand for domestic biogas plants. This programme is working for domestic users and therefore offering four small sizes of plants that are 4m3, 6m3, 8m3 and 10m3. However, the discount rate is flat for each size. The household who has even two cattle is eligible for having a plant. The production of gas is directly proportional to the size of plant and same case with the number of animals.
The programme is implementing the fixed dome Nepalese GGC 2047 design by training different Masons and BCCs about its structure, procedure and measurements. The trainings were conducted by an expert trainer named Prakash from Nepal. Prakash has also trained different teachers as a trainer of Biogas technology for PDBP and evaluated their performances.
In addition to Biogas Mason Training, the Biogas Mason Refresher training is also planned to keep the certified biogas masons updated with the developments in the programme.
Moreover, for informing users especially females because they are the prime beneficiaries of the biogas, different user trainings are organized for them. PDBP staff members give instructions to biogas users about using the plant, biogas, appliances and bio-slurry.
The assurance of the quality of plants constructed by BCCs is a big challenge and for this Biogas Technicians visits the plants on two phases i.e. under construction and final inspections. For the first year (2009), they have visited each plant but now from onward visits will be conducted on sample basis.
Achievements of the project
- Constructing 70 Biogas plants in the first year.
- Setting up Offices in four districts in central Punjab
- Development of promotional material such as brochures, flyers, writing material, t-shirts, caps etc.
- Partnerships with the Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) and the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) as well as seven Local NGOs.
- MOU with GCT for acting as training Institute for PDBP.
- MOU with Ministry of Environment, Pakistan.
- Reduction in health problems like respiratory illness, eye infection, asthma and lungs infection.
- Developed Database for keeping record of trainings, BCCs, Households, Plants and stakeholder meetings.
This programme is funded by SNV initially for the first year, 2009. From November 2009 the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) has started a 4 years programme to support the construction of 14,000 household biogas plants in central Punjab.
- The aim is to reach 14000 plants up to 4 years.
- For 2010, the goal is to construct 1500 plants till November.
- Future Focus is to explore the demand and supply sides by involving other active bodies
On demand side PDBP will explore
Dairy Industries including PPDC (Pakistan Dairy Development Corporation), Nestle Foods and ENGRO Foods
- Farm input Suppliers covering Pesticide dealers and Fertilizer dealers.
- Green Government Agencies like Department of Forest, Department of extension and Department of Agriculture.
- Department of Health.
- Department of Education.
- Department of Revenue.
- Media Agencies
On supply side PDBP will involve
- More BCCs, Masons and Trainers
- More LNGOs
- More Districts like Bhakar
- Appliances Manufacturers
- Micro Finance Institutes