Staff Reporter

State asked to lay down guidelines for cultivation of jatropha

Naturol Bioenergy Limited is an export-oriented unit set up at Vakalapudi

The company is supplying seedlings to farmers free of cost

Kakinada: Naturol Bioenergy Limited, a Kakinada-based integrated bio-diesel plant, is dispatching its first shipment of 9,000 tons of bio-diesel from Kakinada port to the Netherlands on Tuesday morning. It is a 100 per cent export-oriented unit set up at Vakalapudi with an investment of Rs 140 crores, having annual production capacity of 1,00,000 tons of bio-diesel and 10,000 tons of pharmaceutical grade refined glycerine, according to Chief Executive Officer Bhaskar Chalasani.

With Belgian firm Desmet Ballestra as its technology provider, Naturol has a state-of-the-art laboratory that helps it in conforming to international quality standards. The company is currently producing bio-diesel from imported crude palm oil. Its focus is on exports and it has plans to cater to the domestic needs at a later stage.

On the occasion, Mr. Bhaskar opined that the State Government should lay down policy guidelines for cultivation of jatropha which is required for manufacture of bio-diesel and marketing it. Also, bio-diesel manufacturing has to be subsidized on the lines of the benefit being extended in case of diesel.

The company is currently distributing jatropha seedlings free of cost to farmers, with which cultivation is being done on about 5,000 acres in and around Vakalapudi with a buyback arrangement.

The plant’s storage capacity is planned to be expanded soon. Also, plans are afoot to take up cultivation of feedstock for the raw material by supplying seedlings to farmers in Indonesia and East Africa.

The plant is equipped to handle a variety of feedstock including rapeseed oil, jatropha and palm.