Based on the successful experience of implementing biogas programmes in a number of other Asian countries, where tens of thousands of biogas plants are being installed annually, UNDP Pakistan, Winrock International and SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) carried out a feasibility study for establishing a large-scale household biogas programme in Pakistan in early 2007.
This report examines the potential for household scale biogas in Pakistan for cooking and lighting in rural areas. This is based on the availability of sufficient numbers of stall-fed livestock and other enabling conditions such as availability of water and warm temperature. After establishing that there is a sufficient market for biogas plants, the report then examines how a program might be set up in Pakistan to supply large numbers of high quality biogas digesters in the country. The report ends with conclusions focused on the main barriers to large scale adoption of biogas, the IRR, social acceptability of biogas, credit mechanisms, activity of private sector companies, the market and energy needs, and potential subsidy.
Lastly, the report recommends that concrete steps be taken towards development of a national scale program to promote household biogas digesters through a market mechanism, keeping in view the excellent potential for this technology in Pakistan.
The report presents the finding of the Initial Environment Examination (IEE) conducted for the Pakistan Domestic Biogas Program, proposed to be implemented by the Rural Support Program Network (RSPN), Pakistan. The program envisions setting up 300,000 domestic biogas plants across Pakistan within 10 years of time.
Potential impacts likely to arise from the construction and subsequent operation of the domestic biogas digester units on physical and socio economic and environment was assessed and the mitigation measured identified to reduce the possible impact likely to cause its operation. An Environmental checklist has also been developed to implement the recommendation of IEE.
On the basis of the assessment, the report concludes that since Pakistan is an energy deficient country, whose major supply is imported, there is an urgent need to provide an alternative source of energy and the proposed domestic biogas program seems to help fulfil this objective without resulting in any potential environmental impact. No adverse effect on the environment was identified because of this program.
Detailed findings and conclusions can be found in the report along with the adopted IEE methodology, identified potential impacts and the mitigation measures and the environmental checklist developed to overcome the impacts.
This study reports the results of a technical review of existing biogas plants in facilitating the preparation of an implementation plan for the proposed National Domestic Biogas Programme (NDBP) in Pakistan.
Study findings indicated that only 40% of the households produced the required quantity of feeding materials, 63.3% of the plants received less than 40% of prescribed quantity, and 86.67% of plants were under-fed. Operation and Maintenance (O&M) lack of training and after-sales services were also seen as major difficulties. The general study outcome showed that the physical condition of 18% of the plants was good, of 61% fair and of 21% poor.
Despite the overall study outcome that existing biogas plants were functioning at a satisfactory level, further improvements were needed and highly desired, which is why four potential biogas plants models have been evaluated to select the best one for Pakistan. The World Gas Company (GCC) model has been rated as the most suitable one, with some of its advantages over the other models being higher resistance
of gas holder against ground tremors, easy access for cleaning and maintenance of digester and gas holder, proven record of successful functioning in different countries, higher level of user satisfaction, etc.
Based on the study findings recommendations as to the implementation of NDBP were presented and are available in the report (e.g. urgent need for the modification of the existing design of floating drum model biogas plants, utmost need for quality standards formulation on construction, operation and maintenance of biogas plants).