Ethanol biorefinery to come up in Vidarbha

BPCL to set up plant in Bhandara manufacturing ethanol from rice straw

July 19, 2019 12:53 am | Updated 12:53 am IST - Mumbai

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will set up Maharashtra’s first ever ethanol biorefienry in Vidarbha’s Bhandara district at a cost of nearly ₹1,500 crore.

“The State government has finalised the location along with BPCL and it will be set up in Bhandara’s Makardhokda village. The plant will manufacture ethanol from rice straw and will be set up on 46 hectares of land that is currently with the Revenue Department,” said Parinay Fuke, Guardian Minister of Bhandara.

The project will utilise 2 lakh tonne of rice straw annually and has a capacity to produce 700 tonne of biofuel. This project is one among 12 such refineries planned in different States.

“Bhandara and Gondia districts annually produce 3.62 lakh and 3.87 lakh rice straw annually. The supply of raw material won’t be a problem. This project is likely to create around 10,000 jobs directly or indirectly,” he said. The rice straw will be collected, chopped and dried and then supplied to the refinery.

The Revenue Department holds 146 hectares at the site, out of which 46 hectares will be used for this project. The government plans to set up allied industries in the remaining land. The process to hand over the land to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation has begun and once complete, the land will be notified as industrial. After this, it will be handed over to BPCL.

“We expect to initiate the project within a year. BPCL will ensure environmental clearances. We will be charging BPCL a nominal fee of up to ₹3 crore for the land,” said Mr. Fuke.

The National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, aims to increase the percentage of ethanol in petrol and diesel. Currently, it is at nearly 2% in petrol, while in diesel, biofuel is less than 0.1%. An indicative target of 20% of ethanol in petrol and 5% of biodiesel in diesel is proposed by 2030.

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