India’s Bio-Fuel Industry Set To Become Rs 1 Lakh Crore Market: Pradhan

India’s Bio-Fuel Industry Set To Become Rs 1 Lakh Crore Market: Pradhan

India’s nascent biofuel industry has the potential to develop into a flourishing Rs 1 lakh crore market in the coming years, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said.

“The requirement of petrol in 2030 will reach 5,000 crore litre from 3,000 crore litre now. Considering the 20 per cent blending target by 2030 under the Ethanol Blended Programme, the ethanol requirement will be 1,000 crore litre which, considering an average price of Rs 50 per litre, will result in Rs 50,000 crore business, excluding the supply chain and allied infrastructure investment,” Pradhan said.

He was chairing a workshop on New National Policy (Draft) on Bio-fuels and Pradhan Mantri Ji-Van Yojana or Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for 2-G Ethanol bio-refineries.

Similarly, Pradhan explained that the demand for diesel will reach 15,000 crore litre in 2030 from 9,000 crore litre currently. Considering the target of 5 per cent bio-diesel blending under the Bio-diesel blending programme, the requirement for bio-diesel will go up to 7,500 crore litre by 2030 which, considering an average of Rs 50 per litre, will result in Rs 40,000 crore business.

The minister assured the bio-fuel industry that the state-owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) will provide 100 per cent offtake and hand-holding during the transitory phase until it develops into a full-fledged industry.

Oil ministry’s joint secretary in charge of refineries Sandip Poundrik, who was also present at the event, told ETEnergyWorld the stake-holder comments and consultation on the draft policy will be concluded by the end of the current month and the final policy will be announced in 2-3 months.

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Speaking at the same event, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh said the fuel retailer is willing to help new entrants in the bio-diesel segment and assured the stakeholders that even if the bio-diesel produced does not meet the diesel specification, IOC can help in refining to meet standards. “The production of bio-diesel is very small. We can support you if bio-diesel is not meeting diesel specification. A lot of money and effort is spent on meeting the specification. We can support the industry in the initial phase by processing it in our refinery,” Singh said.

Pradhan said there were five key focus areas of the policy including Bio-Ethanol, Bio-Diesel, Advanced Bio-fuels, Drop-in fuels and Bio-CNG. He suggested that focus should also be given to use of Methanol as a fuel, adding that India has coal-to-gas and gas-to-liquid technology and the industry should give it serious thought.

The minister informed he had on Tuesday held a detailed discussion on promoting Methanol Economy in India with Niti Aayog Member V K Saraswat, member Niti Aayog. The minister in a tweet yesterday said that Methanol can be produced from Coal, Agri-waste, forest waste and natural gas and added that the fuel can also be blended with petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to reduce import burden. Read more

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