Bhubaneswar, Oct 10 (PTI) The foundation stone for second generation ethanol bio-refinery, being set up by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore, was laid Wednesday in Odisha’s Bargarh district.

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal laid the foundation stone at Baulasingha in Bhatli Tehsil in presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Setting up ethanol plant in Bargarh is an example of the developmental works of the Centre with a mission to make India world’s super power with the active help and support by each and every citizens of the country, the governor said.

The plant is dedicated for the welfare of tribal and farmers of the state, he said.

With around 18 lakh tonne paddy being produced in Bargarh, there is an equal amount of straw production in the atea. While 6 to 7 lakh tonnes are used as fodder and other purposes, 10-12 lakh tonnes are burnt creating environmental hazard, said Pradhan.

The setting up of the bio-refinery will provide a permanent solution to such problems besides ensuring economic development of the farmers, the minister added.

The bio-refinery will have a capacity to produce 3 crore litres of fuel grade ethanol annually using rice straw as feedstock. The ethanol produced from the plant will be blended with petrol.

Commercial production will start after the mechanical commissioning in December 2020, a senior BPCL official said.

Biofuels have assumed importance due to the growing energy security needs and environmental concerns. Several countries have put forth different mechanism and incentives to encourage use of biofuels to suit their domestic requirements, he said.

India has surplus biomass availability of about 120-160 MMT annually which if converted, has the potential to yield 3,000 crore litres of ethanol.

The Bargarh bio-refinery will utilize about two Lakh tonnes of rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations like Bhatli, Ambabhona, Attabira, Sohela, Burla and Lakhanpur.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.