India’s first 2nd gen ethanol bio-refinery to be set up in Bathinda

Bio-refinery will utilise the agriculture residues for producing 100 KL/day of ethanol.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

The foundation stone for India’s first second-generation (2g) ethanol bio-refinery is to be laid on December 25, 2016 at Tarkhanwala village in the Bathinda district of Punjab. The bio-refinery would be set up with an approximate investment of Rs.600 crores. This could be one of the major steps to tackle the menace of wheat and paddy straw burning in Punjab.

Recently Delhi and its surrounding areas were covered with acrid smog. That was attributed to fireworks, crop burning, vehicle pollutants and construction. The smog was so thick that some people described it akin to living in a ‘gas chamber’.

The decision to set up the ethanol plant could in a way solve the chronic problem of crop burning and also help in containing the loss of fertility  and damage to the environment.

“The foundation stone laying ceremony for setting up the first Second Generation (2G) ethanol bio-refinery in India is being held on December 25, 2016 at village Tarkhanwala, Bathinda (Punjab), with an approximate investment of Rs.600 crores, said an official release.

“The project is to be set up by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a state-run Public Sector Undertaking (PSU),” it added.

The foundation stone shall be jointly laid by Food Processing Industries Minister, Harsimarat Kaur Badal, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan and Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The Central Government is encouraging the 2G ethanol production from agricultural residues in order to provide extra sources of income to farmers while addressing the increasing environmental concerns and to support the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme to achieve 10% ethanol blending in petrol.

The bio-refinery at Bathinda will utilise agriculture residues for producing 100 KL a day or 3.20 crore litre per year of ethanol that may be enough to fulfill the 26% of ethanol blending need of the State, the release said.

“The proposed bio-refinery will create employment opportunity for around 1200-1300 people in biomass supply chain and create an extra income of about Rs.20 crores a year for the farmers via purchase of agriculture residues.

“Besides, the project will also help in cutting CO2 emissions, which are currently generated by burning paddy straw after harvesting,” it added.

In line with Government’s vision, oil PSUs are planning to establish 2G ethanol bio-refineries across eleven states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Dec 23, 2016 12:00 IST