Bhutan: Rural Renewable Energy Development Project (Part D Biogas Plants)

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1 Environmental Monitoring Report Annual Report November 2016 Bhutan: Rural Renewable Energy Development Project (Part D Biogas Plants) Prepared by the Department of Renewable Energy, Royal Government of Bhutan for the Asian Development Bank.

2 This environmental monitoring report is a document of the borrower. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of ADB's Board of Directors, Management, or staff, and may be preliminary in nature. In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of or reference to a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

3 Environmental Safeguard Monitoring Report Reporting Period : July 2015 to June 2016 Date : November 2016 Grant No. : 0228-BHU (SF) Project Name: Rural Renewable Energy Development Project (Part D) Prepared by the Department of Renewable Energy, Royal Government of Bhutan for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) This environmental safeguard monitoring report is a document of the borrower and made publicly available in accordance with ADB s Public Communications Policy 2011 and the Safeguard Policy Statement 2009.The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of ADB s Board of Directors, Management, or staff.

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS Abbreviations 02 Executive Summary Introduction 1.1. Brief Project Description Project Progress Status and Implementation Schedule Compliance to National Regulations Compliance to Environmental Covenants from the ADB Loan Agreement Compliance to Environmental Management Plan Safeguards Monitoring Results and Unanticipated Impacts Implementation of Grievance Redress Mechanism and Complaints Received from Stakeholders Conclusion and Recommendations 17 Page LIST OF TABLES 1.1 Status and implementation schedule of the main activities Status of the Preliminary Activities of the Project funded by the EA Applicable Acts and Legislations to the project Environmental Covenants from the ADB Loan Agreement Compliance Status to EMP 09 1

5 ABBREVIATIONS ADB EMP GRC IEE RGoB MoU NECS NOC SPS DRE DoL MW PMU Asian Development Bank Environmental Management Plan Grievance Redress Committee Initial Environmental Examination Royal Government of Bhutan Memorandum of understanding National Environment Commission Secretariat No Objection Certificate Safeguard Policy Statement Department of Renewable Energy Department of Livestock Megawatt Project Management Unit Electrical Terminology kv Kilovolt 1000volts 2

6 Executive Summary Bhutan is endowed with significant natural energy resources including hydropower (30,000 MW potential), solar, wind, mineral resources and vast biomass resources (72.8% forest cover). These resources are not only part of Bhutan s rich ecology, but a balanced approach between conservation and sustainable resource development has helped contribute to the country s progress. Hydropower and biomass are the most important energy resources to the country s economy as hydropower brings in economic sustainability through export and sale to neighboring India while the biomass addresses the domestic energy demands especially in rural areas. Energy is essential to pursue a sustainable livelihood. In Bhutan, with the rapid pace of economic progress and modernization, the demand for energy, whether fossil fuels, electricity or biomass has been on the steady increase. Modern energy sources (LPG and electricity) as domestic clean energy option are fast expanding in the country with use of coal in industries. The modern energy sources through clean and efficient sources are not accessible to the rural communities due to issues related to inaccessibility and purchasing power. Further, LPG and coal are not domestically produced. Hence the dependency on imports leaves the country exposed to energy insecurity. Further, these two options unlike biomass and electricity from hydropower are not renewable. Bhutan s richness in natural resources and its rural populace heavily dependent on biomass (91%), while the remaining 9% of the energy demand is met through electricity, LPG, kerosene etc (Bhutan Energy Data Directory, 2005) has given rise to it being one of the highest fuel wood consuming nations. The objectives of the proposed project are to (i) improve access to modern household cooking and heating using clean, renewable biogas, (ii) reduce green house gas emissions, and (iii) reduce forest deforestation. Additional benefits of the proposed project include (i) a reduction in adverse health effects from indoor air pollution resulting from firewood smokes, (ii) a positive social impact as the time spent on collecting firewood will be reduced, and (iii) an improvement of farmer s crop yields by using the organic by-product form biogas plants. The Bhutan Biogas Pilot Project was initiated in 2011 and later extended until December 2016 to assist farmers in south Bhutan including 17 Districts. The target was set at 3,600 biogas plants in a period of 6 years. The Bhutan Biogas Pilot Project did not require an Environmental Clearance from the National Environment Commission as there are no significant impacts during construction and operation phases. An Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) was included in project preparation to streamline environmental issues in biogas pilot project implementation. The IEE report has been prepared as per ADB Safeguard Policy The biogas plants are located in a privately owned land of the interested applicants, therefore no resettlement or compensation has been required. 3

7 1.0 Introduction: 1.1 Brief Project Description Energy is essential to pursue a sustainable livelihood. In Bhutan, with the rapid pace of economic progress and modernization, the demand for energy, whether fossil fuels, electricity or biomass has been on the steady increase. Modern energy sources (LPG and electricity) as domestic clean energy option are fast expanding in the country with use of coal in industries. The modern energy sources through clean and efficient sources are not accessible to the rural communities due to issues related to inaccessibility and purchasing power. Further, LPG and coal are not domestically produced. Hence the dependency on imports leaves the country exposed to energy insecurity. Further, these two options unlike biomass and electricity from hydropower are not renewable. Bhutan s richness in natural resources and its rural populace heavily dependent on biomass (91%), while the remaining 9% of the energy demand is met through electricity, LPG, kerosene etc (Bhutan Energy Data Directory, 2005) has given rise to it being one of the highest fuel wood consuming nations. Therefore, the Bhutan Biogas Pilot Project was initiated as part of the Rural Renewable Energy Development Project to explore the possibility of other energy sources. The Project targets to install 3600 biogas plants in 17 districts over the period of 6 years. The proposed biogas plants use cattle dung to produce biogas that is clean and renewable with bioslurry as the by-product. Biogas plants in the proposed project will use the Gobar Gas Company designs that have been widely used in Nepal and Laos, and successfully pilot tested in Bhutan. The plants will be constructed by masons using locally available stones, aggregates, sand pipes, and fittings. A biogas plant consists of (i) an inlet (less than 1 meter in diameter), (ii) an airtight digester mostly in the range of 4 to 10 cubic meters, and (iii) compost pits (typically 1 meter by 2 meters by 3 meters). All the components except the inlet where dung and water are mixed and fed into the digester are built underground within household s premises. The biogas produced in the digester tank is piped to the household s kitchen for use on demand. The by-product, i.e., bio-slurry stored in the underground compost pits, is an odorless organic fertilizer. The objectives of the proposed project are to (i) improve access to modern household cooking and heating using clean, renewable biogas, (ii) reduce green house gas emissions, and (iii) reduce forest deforestation. Additional benefits of the proposed project include (i) a reduction in adverse health effects from indoor air pollution resulting from firewood smokes, (ii) a positive social impact as the time spent on collecting firewood will be reduced, and (iii) an improvement of farmer s crop yields by using the organic by-product form biogas plants. The Executing Agency is the Department of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Department of Livestock (DoL), Ministry of Agriculture and Forest. A Project Management Unit (PMU) will be established at DoL specifically for the management of the project which will liaise with the selected financial intermediary. Financial assistance is given by the ADB under the Rural Renewable Energy Development Project Grant 0228 (BHUSF). 4

8 1.2 Project Progress Status and Implementation Schedule: A. Progress Status The updated status of project from July 2015 to June 2016 is given below in Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 respectively. Table 1.1: Status and implementation schedule of the main activities Sl no Task Name Status Expected date of completion 1 Implementation consultancy support 100% 2 Preparation of marketing and training materials 100% 3 Training of masons and repair service providers 100% 4 Marketing and promotion of farmer groups 100% 5 Microcredit operation 100% 6 Construction 31 st December, Reviews/ Monitoring On-going 8 Project Completion Report 31 st December, 2016 Table 1.2: Status of the Preliminary Activities of the Project funded by the EA Sl. No Work Description Status 1 Land Acquisition Not required 5

9 2.0 Compliance to National Regulations: The relevant applicable Acts and Legislations to the project are given in the Table No Table 2.1: Applicable Acts and Legislations to the project Act /Rule/Notification Year Compliance Status Electrification Act 2001 Being Complied Forest & Nature Conservation Act 1995 Being Complied Land Act 1979/2007 Being Complied RGOB Decentralization Policy 2002 Being Complied National Environment Protection Act 2007 Being Complied National Assessment Act & its Regulations 2000/2002 Being Complied 6

10 3.0 Compliance to Environmental Covenants from the ADB Loan Agreement: Table 3.1 shows the applicable Environmental Covenants from the ADB Loan Agreement. Table 3.1: Environmental Covenants from the ADB Loan Agreement Schedule Para No Point Description Remarks (i) (ii) (iii) The Recipient shall ensure that the Project is undertaken, and the Project facilities are designed, constructed, implemented, operated, and maintained, in accordance with the Recipient s applicable laws and regulations and ADB s Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS) (2009) The Recipient shall ensure that the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) are implemented in accordance with their terms. The Recipient shall ensure that in the event that any unanticipated adverse environmental impact occurs or a mitigation measure under the IEE or EMP does not have the desired effect, this is reported to ADB, and remedial actions are taken to mitigate the relevant impacts in consultation with the affected persons and ADB. 4 4 (iv) The Recipient shall ensure that any changes to the location or project alignment on account of detailed designs of the Project facilities are mutually agreed between the Recipient and ADB. 4 4 (v) The Recipient shall ensure that the IEE and EMP are updated, as necessary, during the course of Project implementation, and submitted to ADB for clearance. 4 4 (vi) The Recipient shall ensure that the contractors engaged for the Project are contractually obliged to implement the 7 Environmental Clearance not required as per existing rules and regulations under the National Environment Commission. Project is being carried out as per ADB SPS (2009). The PMU is carrying out the regular monitoring as set out in the IEE. Being complied No such event has occurred so far. However, if such events do occur, it shall be carried out. Being complied To be carried out if necessary NA

11 Schedule Para No. Point Description Remarks IEE and EMP and report on their implementation on a regular basis, along with any deviation. 4 4 (vii) The Recipient shall ensure that reports on the implementation of the IEE and EMP are being submitted to ADB on an annual basis, unless ADB requests more frequent reporting for any specific matters. Being complied 8

12 4.0 Compliance to Environmental Management Plan: Table 4.1 shows the compliance status to EMP Table 4.1: Compliance Status to EMP Anticipated Environmental Issues and Impacts A. Design and Location 1. Location of Biogas Plants B. Construction Phase 1. Disposal of waste material and excess earth from construction sites 2. Use of water for construction 3. Contaminatio n of water sources from construction wastes Proposed Mitigation Measures Plan all biogas plants in villages not in ecologically sensitive areas such as National Parks and Biological Corridors Construction wastes and excess earth shall be collected and disposed in low lying areas. But these will not be disposed off in water courses and connecting roads to village. Unutilized construction materials will be stored by the owners indoors. The owner will make arrangement for water required for construction from his allocated water supply and will not tap water from natural ground/surface water sources Measures will be taken to prevent the waste water generated in construction from entering directly into river or other natural water sources Parameters to be monitored Screening of Applications of willing farmers received Disposal of debris and spoil in accordance with statutory provisions and in environmentally acceptable manners Execution of conservation/mit igation measures Execution of conservation/mit igation measures Measureme nt Frequency Prior to finalization of list of willing farmers for installation of biogas plant Once after construction is over During construction period of about 20 days During construction period of about 20 days Compliance status/remar ks Being complied Being complied Being complied Being complied 4. Dust generation The construction crew and owner will take all necessary measures to suppress dust generation. For this water spray will be carried out each day at least twice i.e. morning 9 Execution of mitigation measures During construction period of about 20 days Being complied

13 5. Noise from construction site C. Operation Phase 1. Generation of flies, worms, insects and mosquitoes due to improper handling of cattle slurry and digested sludge 2. Possible leakage of biogas from pipes, and biogas plant and evening All stockpiles of construction material at biogas plant sites shall be wetted regularly else they will be stored indoors by the owners The construction works will be taken up during the day time only The owners will be given training by the PMU to properly operate and maintain the biogas plant. In case of any malfunctioning not in control of owner will be rectified by the masons. The mason recruited by PMU through extension officers will give 2 years warranty. An inspection plan will be formulated for the masons by the PMU for effective maintenance and Extension officers of Gewog will regularly visit the biogas plants to educate the owners in effective operation. The quality control officer will also make visits to completed and operating biogas plants on a random basis in each quarter to ascertain hygiene and any unforeseen environmental issues. The owners of the biogas plants will be provided training by the PMU for proper upkeep of connecting pipes and replacement of these every 5 years. The farmers will be made aware of possible occurrence of fire in case of leakage and necessary fire prevention measures to be taken by them in the event of Mitigation measure Hygiene at biogas plant site Random visit to ascertain any leakage of biogas from plant and pipes During construction period of about 20 days As per inspection plan of masons as formulated by DoL and PMU. Quarterly by mason and Extension officers. Quarterly Being complied Being complied Being complied 10

14 occurrence of such incident. 3. Odour problem from biogas plant In order to mitigate odour problem the leakage from biogas digester, piping and stoves should not be there. For this, effective maintenance of biogas plants is needed. Leakage of biogas Every day during operation and utilization of biogas Complied 11

15 5.0 Safeguards Monitoring Results and Unanticipated Impacts: The Project is continuously monitored by DRE, DoL, Extension Officers, SNV and Masons and so far, there have not been any unanticipated impacts yet. 15

16 6.0 Implementation of Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) and Complaints Received from Stakeholders To address any unforeseen environmental issues during construction and operation, DRE and DoL has formulated a GRM to resolve the complaints. The PMU has been set up to supervise and implement the Bhutan Biogas Pilot Project. Any complaint received will be resolved by the project within 7 days. Given the small size of the biogas plants and the fact that there has been no land acquisition required from the public, there has not been any grievance from stakeholders so far and there has not been any complaint from public in the project area. 16

17 7.0 Conclusion and Recommendations The EMP provides the framework for implementing the environmental impacts mitigation measures. The EMP has been divided into 3 sections based on the status of the project. Each section deals with specific environmental issues at different levels of implementation, and in turn, summarizes the potential impacts and mitigation to be applied, and assigns responsibility for each action. At present, the Project is in the construction stage and appropriate measures and monitoring processes are being taken to ensure that the works are according to the implementation plan. 17

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