The foundation stone for Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Bio-refinery of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited being set up at Baulasingha village, Bhatli Tehsil, Bargarh ditrict, Odisha was laid by Governor of Odisha Professor Ganeshi Lal today. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, along with several dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Bio-refinery, the first of its kind to be set up, will have a capacity to produce three crore litres of fuel grade Ethanol annually using Rice straw as the feedstock. Ethanol produced from this plant will be blended with Petrol. The cost of the project is around Rs 100 Crore.
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 production and use of biofuels to suit their domestic requirements. Indi has surplus biomass availability of about 120-160 MMT annually which if converted, has the potential to yield 3000 crore litres of ethanol. The National Biofuel Policy of India 2018 targets 20% Ethanol blending to Petrol by year 2030. However, due to non-availability of Ethanol, the current Ethanol blending in Petrol is about 3 to 4%. Setting up of 2G Ethanol plants will help achieve the target of Ethanol blending in Petrol. The Bargarh Bio-Refinery will utilize about two lakh tonnes of Rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations like Bhati, Ambabhona, Sohela, Burla, Lakhanpur, etc.
The Bio-Refineries will contribute to cleaner environment due to usage of waste Rice straw for Ethanol production thereby reducing waste straw burning in fields. Blending of Ethanol in Petrol will reduce Green House Gas emissions as compared to fossil fuels. The plant is based on Zero-liquid discharge plant technology where all water will be recycled back into the plant. In addition to cleaner environment, the project will also help improve the socio-economic conditions of the farmers due to additional income from sale of Rice straw to the bio-refinery. Also, this will generate employment for appx 1200 persons (both direct and indirect) during construction, operation of plant and supply chain management of biomass. This will boost the infrastructural development in the area and overall improvement in livelihood of people. Further, blending of ethanol enhances self-sufficiency of the Nation by reducing oil imports, thereby saving foreign exchange.