BHUBANESWAR: Odisha is going to have a Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Bio-Refinery, first in the country to produce ethanol from rice straw, in Bargarh district. The facility, which is expecting its mechanical commissioning in the next two years, is one among 12 refineries planned in 11 States in the country. To be set up at Baulsingha village under Bhatli tehsil by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at an estimated cost of Rs1000 crore, the bio-refinery will produce three crore litre of fuel-grade ethanol annually using rice straw as feedstock.
Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal is slated to lay the foundation stone for the plant in presence of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on October 10. Briefing newsmen, CGM (Biofuels) of BPCL Sanjeeb Paul said the bio-refinery will be set up in an area of 58 acres provided by the State Government. Ethanol produced from the plant will be blended with petrol, he said.
“Apart from Odisha, BPCL is setting up bio-refineries in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. But the Bargarh plant will be the first in the country to start construction work. Commercial production will start after the mechanical commissioning in December 2020,” Paul informed. Biofuels have assumed importance due to growing energy security needs and environmental concerns. An estimate stated that India has surplus biomass availability of about 160 MMT annually which if converted has the potential to yield 3000 crore litre of ethanol.
The Bargarh Bio-Refinery will utilise about two lakh tonne of rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations including Bhatli, Ambabhona, Attabira, Sohela, Burla and Lakhanpur.
“The refinery will be based on zero-liquid discharge plant technology where water will be recycled back into the plant. Blending of ethanol in petrol will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions as compared to fossil fuels,” said Paul. The bio-refinery will contribute to the cleaner environment due to the usage of waste rice straw for ethanol production thereby reducing waste straw burning in fields. It will also help improve the socio-economic condition of farmers due to additional income from the supply of rice straw.
The National Biofuel Policy 2018 targets 20 per cent ethanol blending to petrol by 2030. While the current ethanol blending in petrol is only around three to four per cent due to non-availability of ethanol, 2G ethanol plants will help achieve the target. Among others, State Head, Retail (Odisha and Jharkhand) Debashis Palit and DGM (Brand and Public Relation) SS Sundararajan were present.