Biofuels offer business opportunities worth Rs.1 lakh cr: Pradhan

We are committed to reaching the target of 10% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2022, Pradhan said.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday that biofuels has the business potential worth Rs.1 lakh crore in the ‘waste-to-wealth’ sector, while adding that there are challenges in encouraging advanced biofuels.

Pradhan also stressed on the importance of research for promoting the use of biofuels in the country.

“While there are challenges in promoting advanced biofuels but it also offers business opportunities worth Rs.1 lakh crore in the ‘waste to wealth’ sector,” he said, while delivering the inaugural speech at the “EU-India Conference on Advanced Biofuels”, jointly organised by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy.

The Minister emphasised on the need for synergies to enable industrialisation of biofuels so that there are economies of scale.

He further said that while India is among the less polluting nations, it is important to decarbonise the energy sector and his Ministry has taken several measures in this direction.

In future, biofuels would be the cost-effective and pollution-free import alternative to the polluting fossil fuels. Though first generation biofuels are made from sugars through molasses and vegetable oils, the advanced biofuels are produced from lignocellulosic biomass or woody crops, municipal waste and agricultural residues. 

Explaining the same, Pradhan said, “We are committed to reaching the target of 10% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2022.”

To enhance the capacity of ethanol production, 12 bio-refineries are being established in different parts of the country by state-run oil companies, he added.

Noting that biofuels in the country are presently ‘only made from molasses’, the Minister stated that in the Budget 2018-19 presented last month, the Government had announced incentives for ‘waste-to-wealth’ conversion projects, including the GOBAR Dhan (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme aimed at producing bio-CNG.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 08, 2018 12:00 IST