Phoenix India Research & Development Group (Phoenix), a manufacturer of CNG cylinders and a range of biogas generation equipment, will begin a new era of clean fuel bus operations in West Bengal when it fuels the first bus in Kolkota with renewable natural gas (RNG/biomethane). As an alternative energy provider, the company was selected by Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to kickstart this project.
Furthermore, Phoenix will supply twelve 60-seat buses in all, valued at approximately USD 19,100 each, for RNG-fuelled public transportation services on city roads. According to a report by Gulf News, it plans to charge a flat fee of one rupee per passenger, regardless of journey length. Following successful implementation, more biogas stations, buses and routes are planned.
The company also plans to have biogas plants in all districts of West Bengal by 2020 and distribute biogas using cylinders. Such cylinders will be used for the buses; fully fuelled, each vehicle will carry 80kg of compressed biogas (CBG) and have an operating range of 1,600km.
Dr. Jyoti Prakash Das, proprietor of Phoenix, explains the source of the company’s renewable gas: “Biogas is produced from animal and plant waste and principally consists of methane. It is a non-toxic, colourless and flammable gas that can be used as fuel for vehicles, cooking and generating electricity.” Biogas is therefore a renewable energy source with a very small carbon footprint.
Phoenix owns & operates 2 major manufacturing plants producing CBG, one in Gujarat (Baroda, Makrichawk) with a capacity of producing 2.7 MM3 gas per annum and the other in Birbhum (Metela, Dubrajpur) with a capacity of producing 3.7 MM3 gas per annum. The latter plant is about 260 kms from Kolkota, to which gas will be transported by truck.