Bihar boasts of India's first greenfield grain-based ethanol plant
The state industries minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said the government has received investment proposals worth Rs.30,382 crore for setting up ethanol production plants.
PATNA: Bihar has the distinction of being the first state in the country to set up a greenfield grain-based ethanol production plant. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the state's first ethanol production plant in Purnia district on Saturday. This is among the 17 ethanol units proposed to be set up in the state. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said ethanol production would help reduce the cost of petrol and generate employment opportunities in the state.
“It is a matter of great happiness that ethanol production has started from this plant. In fact, the Bihar government has been trying since 2007. Now the centre has approved our approval,” he added. The state industries minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said the government has received investment proposals worth Rs.30,382 crore for setting up ethanol production plants.
Spread over an area of 15 acres and estimated cost of about Rs.105 crore, the Purnia plant is expected to produce 65,000 litres of ethanol per day. The Purnia production plant will need 150 tones of maize and rice every day. It is stated to be the country's first green field grain based ethanol production unit.
Two more such units are ready to be inaugurated soon in Gopalganj and one in Bhojpur district, respectively. The other units would be set up in Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Buxar, Begusarai, East Champaran and Bhagalpur districts. The areas have been selected on the basis of the availability of raw materials for the production units.
According to the Bihar industries department officials, the 17 ethanol production plants will produce approximately 35.2 crore litres of fuel from sugarcane, maize, rice and molasses every day, which will be subsequently supplied to oil marketing companies for blending into petrol and later diesel.
The state food and consumer protection minister Lesi Singh said the state industries minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain had assured her that the state's first ethanol production unit will be made operational in Purnia's Dhamdaha constituency, which she represented in the state assembly. Pramod Singh, a marginal farmer of Purnia, said, “Now we will be able to sell our agricultural produce at the actual price fixed by the government. Earlier, we had to sell our agricultural produce like maize to local grain traders at cheap rates.”