The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan recently released an Expression of Interest (EoI) floated by the national oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum, for the procurement of biodiesel made from used cooking oil.
The EoI was released on the occasion of World Biofuel Day held recently in the national capital.
Through this EoI, biodiesel projects utilizing used cooking oil as raw materials will get remunerative price and assurance of procurement of production by the oil companies. The program will be launched in 100 cities soon.
Under the biodiesel project, the companies will pay ₹51 (~$0.72)/liter for biodiesel for the first year, and in the second and third year, the cost will be ₹52.7 (~$0.74) and ₹54.5 (~$0.77)/ liter respectively.
According to the EoI, the oil companies will also bear the cost of transportation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the first year.
Pradhan said, “Prime Minister has given a target to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to bring down the import dependency of oil products by 2022, and this can be achieved by enhancing production, improving energy efficiency, promoting conservation and encouraging alternate fuels.”
Further, he informed that his ministry is working on a four-pronged strategy in promoting ethanol, 2-G ethanol, compressed biogas, and biodiesel.
Pradhan said, “Ethanol blending in petrol has gone up from 1% to about 8% and is likely to touch 10% soon.”
Several initiatives have been undertaken to increase the production and blending of biofuels since 2014.
He said the government is planning to allow the production of ethanol from surplus food grains which now sometimes go waste and also entail expenditure on storage.
Regarding the issue of compressed biogas, Pradhan said that the city gas distributors (CGDs) network being set up in over 400 districts would give a significant boost to it, and already 300 letters of intent have been signed with entrepreneurs for setting up compressed biogas (CBG) projects.
Talking about the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Program, Pradhan said that the program would achieve its target of 80 million beneficiaries by October this year. He said that the program has environmental, economic, social, and health benefits.
The minister also released ‘Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO)’ sticker and a phone app – the sticker implies that the establishment having this sticker conforms to the RUCO ecosystem and does not reuse cooking oil. The RUCO App will enable stakeholders to track and trace all transactions.
Recently, Mercom reported that the government is promoting the use of compressed biogas as an alternative green transport fuel for the efficient management of biomass and organic waste.
The Indian government is also working on projects which will increase the usage of biofuels. After approving the National Policy on Biofuels in 2018, the government has also started a program to provide financial support to bioethanol manufacturers in India.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.