State owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) along with private players like Praj Industries, Munzer, Novozymes and Shell together announced an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in the field on bio-fuels and on the occasion of the World’s Bio Fuel Day.
While Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies. IOC, BPC, HPC and NRL have identified 10 locations for setting up 2G ethanol plants with an estimated investment of Rs 5,000 crore, private players like CMC Bio-refineries, Praj Industries Ltd., Munzer, Novozymes and Shell also announced an investment of Rs 5,000 crore in the field of Bio-fuels in India.
Praj, a global process solutions company, said it is going to be the first technology provider in the Country to participate in 2G ethanol projects through ‘Green Fund’. This Green Fund will be contributed to accelerate 2nd Generation ‘Biomass to Ethanol’ projects in various parts of the country.
“In order to accomplish 20% ethanol blending program set up by the government, the OMC’s, project developers and technology providers like us need to ramp up our actions and develop a sustainable eco-system. To achieve this ambitious blending target, 2nd generation biofuels play a pivotal role. Globally it has been accepted that 2G Ethanol is the answer to sustainability and reducing GHG emission. The Green Fund will play as catalyst in building sustainable industry that our future generations will benefit from. Further, we have prepared ourselves to execute 2G ethanol projects worth Rs. 2500–3000 crores in 2 years” said Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman, Praj Industries.
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan along with the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, Mines and RE, Piyush Goyal jointly addressed a gathering in the capital at the National Conference on the World Bio-Fuel Day.
These conference aimed at accelerating the bio-fuel programme in the country and draw up a road map to reduce the consumption of fossils fuels by replacing it with locally produced bio fuels thus reducing the foreign exchange out flow, generate rural employment and protect environment.
Pradhan said there is a large potential of Bio-Fuel business in India to grow from present Rs. 6500 crore to Rs. 1 lakh crore in the next 10 years. He added that the Prime Minister has set a target of 10% import reduction in crude by 2022 and bio-fuels can play an important role in achieving the target.
Shifting the fuel consumption profile to bio-fuels derived from domestic feed stocks would lead to decrease in this dependence on crude oil imports. He said in the last 2 years, lot of work has been done in Ethanol Blending Programme, Bio-Diesel as well as using the Bio-waste for converting to energy but more needs to be done speedily. He said India’s energy consumption is increasing very fast and it has become the third largest consumer in the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Goyal said that rapid strides have been made in the last two years in the field. He said that Viability Gap Funding Scheme for the sector can be evolved in consultation with the stakeholders. Further, the Minister laid down a vision for the growth and development of the bio-fuel sector.
He called for organizing an International competition, under the aegis of the MoPNG, MNRE and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and invite stakeholders from all around the World to brainstorm and devise innovative technologies and novel ideas to integrate the use of bio-fuels in the lives of the common man.
Goyal said speed, skill and scale are important for success of any programme and they should be included in the Bio-fuel programme also. He further added that bio-fuels are closely linked to increasing the quality of life of the common man as they would provide a sustainable way to convert human generated wastes to energy and reduce pollution as well. The Minister pointed out that a major challenge that faces the sector is the sustainable availability of feedstock for the bio-fuel generation plants.
Pradhan said that the Bio-fuel Programme has the capacity to provide better remuneration for farmers, address environmental concerns, reduce dependence on imports and help in foreign exchange savings. The Petroleum Minister said the Government is willing to provide conducive policy environment to support development of Bio-fuel but import of raw material or waste for this purpose cannot be allowed.
On the occasion of Bio-fuel World Day, National Conference on ‘Energy Security for India – Creating a Bio-fuel Economy’ was organized.
The World Bio-fuel Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the anniversary of the successful working of a diesel engine, run on peanut oil, by German innovator Rudolf Diesel in 1893.
The National conference together stakeholders of the Bio-fuel sector viz., the Government, Public Sector Undertakings and the Private Sector.
The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) is preparing a road map to accelerate the implementation of Bio-fuel program by increasing their consumption in India. MoP&NG has adopted a four pronged approach and is running following programmes: Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme (EBP) – Ethanol blending in Petrol, Second Generation Ethanol (2G Ethanol) – Ethanol production from celluloses and lignocelluloses material including Chemical route, Bio-diesel Blending Programme – Bio-diesel blending in Diesel, and Waste/Plastic to Fuel.
India has taken several initiatives in the field of bio fuels in the last two years. Several policy interventions and clearing of many hurdles in implementation of National blending targets have been under taken by Government of India. Ministry of Petroleum Natural gas has given a big push for the Ethanol blending program and is close to achieving 4% blending during the current sugar year. The bio diesel blending program which was started a year ago on 10 August 2015 as a pilot in 5 cities has now been extended to 6 states and Bio- diesel blended diesel is sold through nearly 2200 retail outlets in the country. The Government has also allowed production of ethanol from alternate routes.