Govt may ask OMCs to offtake entire biodiesel supply from used cooking oil

Biofuels are relatively eco-friendly fuels derived primarily from biomass

The government is likely to announce a scheme wherein oil marketing companies will offtake the entire supply of biodiesel from used cooking oil from all current and future plants to commemorate World Biofuel Day on Saturday, according to people aware of the development.

Biofuels in general are relatively environmentally-friendly fuels derived primarily from biomass such as plant, algae material or animal waste. Biodiesel, a type of biofuel, can be produced from used cooking oil as well.

“The government will likely announce an expression of interest in which they will give off-take agreements to all current biodiesel plants and future biodiesel plants that are making biodiesel from used cooking oil only,” an official aware of the development told The Hindu. “The OMCs will guarantee a complete offtake of this biodiesel from used cooking oil and they will set a price for a set number of years.”

While this move is welcome, industry players say that it is not enough to cater to the demand for biofuels in the country as set out by the National Policy on Biofuels 2018 released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

According to the policy, currently the ethanol blending percentage in petrol is around 2% and biodiesel blending percentage in diesel is less than 0.1%. The policy has set an indicative target of 20% and 5%, respectively, by 2030.

“The government is aiming to do millions of tonnes of biodiesel with used cooking oil,” Shiva Vig, CEO of BioD Energy India, said. “Having been in the industry for several years, collecting used cooking oil from five States of north India and over 4,000 restaurants, we have only been able to touch 150-200 tonnes per month. It is an extremely ambitious target.”

Mr. Vig added that the offtake announcement that is likely to come from the government should be extended to other sources of raw materials for biodiesel such as animal fat, which India has a huge supply of. However, he added that even with these additional raw materials included, the current production in the country was not enough to meet the demand from the oil marketing companies.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 5:45:39 AM |

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