1. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in India
India is the 3rd largest oil consumer and importer in the world. During the time of lockdown across the regions, the country filled its 3 SPRs (Strategic Petroleum Reserves) in southern India with 5.33 million tonnes of oil as the oil demand and prices were extremely low.
Though India’s fuel demand has almost recovered to the pre-COVID levels but the country aims to create 2 more SPRs with the capacity of 6.5 million tonnes.
With the purpose of attracting more private investment in its SPRs, India recently allowed Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) to re-export some of its oil stored in Mangalore SPR. Moreover, the country is spending $20 billion to produce 15 million tonnes of compressed biogas by 2023, and has recently started supplying hydrogen compressed natural gas for 50 buses as a trial.
2. RCEP Agreement in 2020
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a comprehensive trade agreement covering trade in goods and services, economic and technical cooperation, investment, intellectual property, competition, e-commerce (digital trade), government procurement, dispute settlement/legal and institutional issues. This trade group policies encourage trade by lowering tariffs, standardizing customs rules and regulations, and widening market accessibility.
The idea of RCEP was first proposed at the 19th ASEAN meet in November 2011. After being a part of RCEP for 7 years, India opted out of the powerful trade pact in 2019 to protect the national interest and encourage growth of domestic industries. After rolling out “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, India opted to stay out of this pact even in 2020-21.
The global economy has been facing huge challenges since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. The leaders of the participating nations are hopeful that after being effective, the trade pact will accelerate the process of post-COVID economic recovery
3. Biogas Plant Project
Biogas is produced by processing organic wastes. The concept of Compressed Biogas (CBG) Plants proposes to produce huge amount of biogas from domestic, industrial and agricultural wastes. Greater use of Biofuels can reduce India’s fuel import bill by INR 1 Trillion.
The STATA (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) initiative by India government was started in October 2018 with a target to build 5000 CBGs by FY24. Out of the planned 5000 units, around 1500 CBGs are in various stages of execution. The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding is for setting up 900 CBG plants as part of SATAT. These 900 plants will need around INR 30,000 crores of investment.
For the implementation of this initiative, The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has already signed MOUs with energy companies like JBM Group, Adani Gas, Torrent Gas and Petronet LNG and with the technology providers in CBG sectors like Indian Oil, Praj Industries, CEID Consultants, and Bharat Biogas Energy.