Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) plans to commission its second generation (2G) ethanol bio-refinery at Odisha's Bargarh district by December 2020.
The project will see an investment of Rs 10 billion and the foundation stone for the refinery will be laid on October 10 by Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal and Union minister of Petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan. "We have the mandate to complete the mechanical commissioning of the project by December 2020 and the commercial production will follow immediately.
The bio-refinery will have a capacity to produce 30 million litres of the fuel grade ethanol annually using rice straw as feedstock and the ethanol produced from the plant will be blended with petrol", said Sanjeeb Paul, chief general manager, BPCL. "The refinery will come up on 58 acres of land at Bargarh and we have got the environmental clearance for it," he added. About 12 such refineries are proposed in different states in the country. Odisha is the first state where the construction of the projects is going to start.
The Bargarh bio-refinery will utilize about 0.2 million tons of rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations like Bhatti, Ambabhona, Attabira, Sohela, Burla, Lakhanpur etc. Biofuels have assumed importance recently due to the growing energy security needs and environmental concerns. Several countries have put forth different mechanism and incentives to encourage the use of biofuels to suit their domestic requirements.
The National Biofuel Policy of India 2018 targets 20 per cent ethanol blending to petrol by the year 2030, however, due to non-availability of Ethanol, the current Ethanol blending in Petrol is only around three per cent to four per cent. Setting up of 2G Ethanol plants will help achieve the target of Ethanol blending in petrol. The bio-refinery will contribute to the cleaner environment due to the usage of waste rice straw for ethanol production thereby reducing waste straw burning in fields. Blending of ethanol in petrol will also reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions as compared to fossil fuels. The plant is based on a zero-liquid discharge plant (ZLD) technology where all the water will be recycled back into the plant.