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Biogas is one of the best alternative renewable source of energy. It will fulfill the demand for cooking energy where there currently exists no option other than firewood. It is eco-friendly and has many other benefits such as being clean, sustainable, simple to use, and low cost.
All Nepal Biogas Company Pvt. Ltd., established in 2005 at Banepa city, about 20 km east of Kathmandu, is one of the biogas companies in Nepal that has been providing installation and training services to its customers. Presently, it has two branches located in the Makwanpur and Sharlahi districts of Nepal.
Biogas is the process or technology that produces energy from agricultural waste, manure, sewage, food waste, and other organic waste materials. It converts the organic materials’ mixture into a methane gas. This gas is then transported through a pipeline into normal gas stoves used for cooking and lighting purposes.
Biogas has become a good alternative source of energy to substitute firewood. The energy is a renewable source and can be produced through locally available materials. As biogas is a one-time investment with minimal operation and maintenance costs, in the long run it is more economical to install a biogas plant than to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas or LPG as it is locally called.
During the interview, Mr. Dhurba Prasad Chaulagain, the owner of All Nepal Biogas Company Pvt. Ltd, said that he came to know about biogas plants from a friend living in India who had been using biogas for a long time. The friend suggested him to install a biogas plant in his house. This is how a personal interest turned into a business venture. Mr. Chaulagain also came to know that the government is providing subsidy and support to promote the use of biogas plants in Nepal through a state-owned agency called Nepal Biogas Promotion Association (NBPA). The subsidy provided by the government and the demand for biogas from a large number of people living around his residence encouraged Mr Chaulagain to start a business on biogas plant. He established All Nepal Biogas as a private limited company.
This business is related with the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 (good health and well-being) and Goal No.7 (affordable and clean energy).
Since its establishment, the company has installed more than 2,500 biogas plants in over 13 out of 75 districts of Nepal. Currently, more than 2000 families are getting direct benefits from the company product. This company has contributed to fulfil the need of the energy for cooking in the mountainous and hilly areas of Nepal where people depend solely upon the forest for a traditional source of energy.
Biogas has provided a huge contribution to the national economy. It has contributed to making the country self-sufficient in cooking gas and reduce the dependence on the import of LPG. The importation of energy constitutes the largest drain on foreign exchange in Nepal. Therefore, the application of biogas has helped to improve the balance of this payment situation.
With the general people becoming more aware of the benefits from the use of biogas, company sales are on rise. Annually, the company is installing about 200 biogas plants all over Nepal. The company is making good profits from their operation. After deducting expenses, the company is making annual profit from 2-3 hundred thousand rupees. Currently, it provides employment opportunities to more than 30 people.
The government has been providing certain tax benefits to the company as it is contributing to sustainable development. In the near future, the company is planning to expand its operation in other parts of Nepal like the Illam and Chitwan districts.
Previously, women used to have various health problems such as cough, severe headaches, respiratory problems, and eye-related problems as a result of burning firewood for cooking and heating. With the use of biogas, which is a clean energy in itself, they are relieved of these problems and enjoy living a healthy life. Women, who spend much of their time in the kitchen, are also relieved from washing dirty utensils blackened by the firewood. This is an added benefit from biogas to empower women in rural Nepal. The village children who often are engaged in collecting firewood can now regularly attend schools. This is because they need not have to fetch firewood from the forest.
The introduction of biogas plants has saved people's valuable time. The saved time can be used for other productive and income generating activities this in turn is expected to improve their economic status. Also, it has created many direct and indirect employment opportunities to the general people.
Biogas is an eco-friendly production of the energy. It helps to control the pollution, deforestation, and environmental degradation. It also helps to control the green house effects, climate change, global warming and so on. The by-product from biogas (effluents) is an effective fertilizer. In summary, the bio-gas plant provides a multitude of benefits.
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Dhurba Prasad Chaulagain, Owner
Biogas is turning out to be a promising source for alternative renewable energy for a developing country like Nepal which does not have any sources of fossil fuel.