IOC plans ₹600 cr. ethanol plant each in TS., AP

IOC Director (R&D) SSV Ramakumar and State Head (TS and AP) R. Sravan S. Rao at a media interaction in Hyderabad on Wednesday.  

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to set up a foodgrain-based, mega scale ethanol production facility each in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with an estimated total investment of ₹1,200 crore.

Spoilt and surplus foodgrain, sourced from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), will serve as feedstock to make ethanol, for blending with petrol and reducing dependence on crude oil imports.

Director (R&D) SSV Ramakumar mentioned about the proposed facilities during a media interaction here on Wednesday. ED and State Head of IOC for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh R.Sravan S.Rao added the 5 lakh litres per day capacity plants will entail an investment of ₹600 crore each.

Both IOC officials appreciated Telangana government for its proactive response and suggesting two locations for the plant in the State. The oil company would be evaluating the options, Mr.Rao said, adding about 80 acres, a continuous source of water and proximity to FCI godowns are aspects important for the facility. IOC was yet to approach the Andhra Pradesh government, he said.

The two facilities proposed in the Telugu States are among the three such planned in the country as part of measures to augment ethanol availability. According to Mr.Ramakumar, the Centre has mandated usage of 10% ethanol in petrol by 2022 and 20% in 2025.

In view of the limited availability, the ethanol blend in petrol is around 6% at present. Indian Oil’s research and development thus is focusing on new avenues to produce ethanol, including from agriculture residue such as wheat straw, paddy straw as well as converting carbon dioxide by a biotechnology pathway. The first such 3rd generation ethanol production facility, a 3,000 tonne per annum plant at Panipat, in which carbon dioxide emissions from the IOC refinery will be converted into ethanol, will be commissioned this year. Carbon dioxide can also be converted to Omega3 Fatty Acids which commands a huge price in the international markets, he said.

Some of the other IOC R&D initiatives Mr.Ramakumar highlighted were flexible technology that will facilitate conversion of existing IOC oil refineries to produce petrochemicals, in the event of decline in demand for fossil fuels. The company will also be launching a differentiated diesel soon. The diesel variant will offer better combustion efficiency and set to be unveiled in the wake of good response to the 100 octane rated petrol by the company.

He said IOC, in partnership with an Israeli startup, will produce aluminium-air (Al-Air) batteries to propel e-mobility in the country. The collaboration will help reduce import dependence and insulate the country's energy requirements from global geo-political and currency risks. The joint venture intends to set-up a factory in India to manufacture Al-Air batteries, for electric vehicles, which will not require electricity to charge. They will be mechanically recharged, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:35:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ioc-plans-600-cr-ethanol-plant-each-in-ts-ap/article33927491.ece

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