Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd will set up the country’s first ethanol bio-refinery plant in Odisha's Bargarh district, an official has said.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will lay the foundation stone for the Rs 1,000 crore plant on October 10. It will be the first of 12 such second-generation (2G) ethanol bio-refineries the government aims to set up in the country.
The refinery will have an annual capacity to produce three crore litres of fuel-grade ethanol using rice straw as feedstock. The ethanol thus produced will be blended with petrol, said Sanjeev Paul, BPCL’s Chief General Manager (Biofuels).
“The state government has already handed over 58 acres of land for the plant and the project is expected to be completed by December 2020. The plant will create around 1,200 direct and indirect employment during construction, operation of plan and supply chain management of biomass and will boost the infrastructure development and improvement of livelihood in the area,” he added.
The government aims to promote the blending of ethanol with petrol in order to cut reliance on import of fossil fuels, which is a drain on India's foreign exchange reserves.
The Bargarh plant is based on zero-liquid discharge technology, where all the water will be recycled back into the plant, said BPCL's Debashis Palit, State Head, Retail (Odisha and Jharkhand).