Bio diesel venture in A.P.

By P. Vikram Reddy

HYDERABAD, FEB. 25. Bio diesel is generally accepted as an eco-friendly, bio degradable product, which has wide acceptance, and can be blended with diesel in varying proportions or used as a 100 per cent replacement for conventional diesel.

The first commercial venture of its kind in the country called Southern Biofe Bio Fuels is proposed to be set up in Andhra Pradesh. The plant will be extracting oil from inputs such as pongamia, jetropha, neem or rice brawn.

The company has been promoted by the Hyderabad based Southern OnLine Services (a listed company), and is planning a Rs. 15 crore bio diesel project with technology from Lurgi of German. With an initial capacity of 30 tonnes a day (upgradable), it will be located at Choutuppal in Andhra Pradesh.

N. Satish Kumar, Director of Southern Biofe, said the project proposal was under circulation with German Technological Co-operation (GTZ) for financial assistance. Sample test reports have been approved by Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board. The board and the Environment Ministry sent recommendations to various departments to use the product and provide subsidies-cum-incentives, he said. The company hopes to achieve financial closure by June and commercial production by April 2005.