GPOBA’s first phase of payment for 4,722 biogas plants done

KATHMANDU: World Bank implemented Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) project in Nepal has made the first payment of $592,200 to the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) for successful 2008 delivery of verified new biogas plant installations in Nepal. The project gives increased access to clean and affordable energy for rural Nepali households, and has successfully installed 4,772 new biogas plants under the GPOBA grant.

The World Bank-administered GPOBA programme signed a grant agreement with Nepal in October 2007 providing a total of $5 million in support, which will pay for the verified installation of up to 37,000 new biogas plants in 48 districts. The programme is being managed by AEPC with implementation support provided by the Biogas Sector Partnership Program-Nepal (BSP-N).

“The project builds on Nepal’s impressive track record with mainstreaming biogas plants as a practical and affordable solution to energy problems in rural Nepal,” said Susan Goldmark, World Bank Country Director for Nepal. “It converts animal and human waste into a clean source of cooking fuel — thereby negating the need to

use wood, dung or other fossil

fuel sources of energy. The biogas byproduct can be used as a fertilizer to increase agricultural yield.

This is a small but important step

in improving the lives of

rural Nepalis.”

GPOBA’s grant payment is made to AEPC for successful commissioning of new biogas plants ranging in capacity from 4m3 to 8m3. Even the smallest plants with a

4m3 capacity produce enough

gas to run a cooking stove for

nearly 2.5 hours daily.

Switching to biogas reduces the risk of respiratory infections. Families will save approximately three hours of labour per day due to the conveniences of gas in addition to financial savings by not purchasing other fuels and fertilizer.

Women and girls, who traditionally collect firewood, cook and clean, will be the project’s primary beneficiaries. Furthermore, access to biogas will enable the use of gas lanterns at night for children’s studies or other household activities.

“The GPOBA fund received will help AEPC to install additional biogas plants in the future in more remote and needy areas in Nepal,” said Dr Narayan Prasad Chaulagain, Executive Director of AEPC.

Saroj Rai, Executive Director of BSP-Nepal added, “The GPOBA funding for BSP is an achievement that has further motivated us to promote biogas with increasing focus on market development in remote areas.”