Raipur, Dec. 26: After Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited has come forward to join hands with the Chhattisgarh government for commercial production of bio-diesel.
“Hindustan Petroleum has also shown keen interest to come up with a bio-diesel project in the state. The state government has sought a detailed proposal from the company before entering into the deal,” chief executive officer of Chhattisgarh Bio-fuel Development Authority Sanjay Shukla said. The discussion is at a preliminary stage, and the officials will soon meet to give it a final shape, he added.
The entry of another major oil player in bio-fuels is seen as another step forward in the Chhattisgarh government's move to promote bio-diesel at the national level and project the state as a role model.
In the last week of October, the state government and the IOC had reached an agreement to set up a high-level committee that would work out an action plan before proceeding with the project. The IOC officials discussed about the possibilities of joint venture in bio-diesel production and signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government to extract bio-diesel from jatropha seeds.
As part of the first step of the project, IOC had submitted a proposal to the state government-seeking one lakh hectares for its project. “The proposal is under consideration with the government and it will take a decision at the earliest,” Shukla said.
Under the deal with IOC, the state government and the company had agreed to constitute a working group comprising senior officers of the Chhattisgarh government and IOC to prepare an action plan for the project. The group will have one member each from state’s forest department and Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) and senior officers of Indian Oil Corporation.
According to Shukla, the state government will provide land to IOC, which will extract bio-diesel from jatropha and sell it through its outlets in the state. The HPCL project is along similar lines, he added.
Once the projects take shape, the bio-fuel production in Chhattisgarh will surge. The authority is producing 3,000 litres bio-diesel in the state and had cultivated jatropha — the plant bearing bio-fuel — in 88,000 hectares of land across the sixteen districts in the state.