from the South

SBBL To Set Up Biodiesel Unit In AP

BV Mahalakshmi

Hyderabad, Oct 22: Southern Biofe Biofuels Pvt Ltd (SBBL), a newly formed biofuel producer, is setting up a biodiesel manufacturing plant with an installed capacity of 30 tonnes per day with a proposed investment of $2.45 million near Hyderabad. The company proposes to manufacture biodiesel from non-edible vegetable oils suchas: Pongamia and Jatropha (botanical names).

According to Mr N Satish Kumar, chairman and managing director of the company, SBBL has already approched the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank for project financing. "We are seeking about $1.876 million from both the agencies," he told êiFE. êrThe remaining finances will be funded by the promoters, he added. The company has already received a letter from IFC to discuss the details of the project, Mr Kumar said.

The company has recently acquired five acres of land in the SP Biotech Park in the Genome Valley near Hyderabad.

The company is targeting to commence its operations in Juanuary 2004. Initially the working capacity of the plant would be about 10.5 tonnes per day in the first year which can be scaled up to 24 tonnes in the second year.

``We are in talks with the Andhra Pradesh State Road Corporation and the Indian Railways besides other truck and three-wheeler operators and industries for use of this fuel,'' he said.

While both the organisations have expessed interests in purchasing biodiesel and would sign purchase agreements once the production commences, he said.

The company has already received a letter of intent from the ministry of railways expressing their interest for purchasing biodiesel to the tune of 2 million kilo litres from the proposed plant, Mr Satish Kumar said.

The pilot plant project is designed to demonstrate with the technological help from Chemical Construction India Ltd (Delhi) which has the technical assistance from Lurgi of Germany, a world leader in biodiesel technology. Further, the company has also sought expertise from the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Deheradun.