A.P. firms gearing for bio-fuel projects
By P. Vikram Reddy
June 26. The enormous potential that alternate fuel
like bio diesel has, is beginning to attract enterprising entrepreneurs
willing to venture into a Greenfield area. At least a dozen
entrepreneurs in various parts of the country are planning or
working out their strategies to either set up bio diesel production
units, or start from the plantation level to evolve into integrated
projects over the next few years.
Bio fuels generate interest because of lesser
environment, pollution, foreign currency saving and potential
to improve rural economy. With the nation's transport sector
consuming about 50 billion litres of diesel, emission of pollutants
has always been a big concern.
Brazil is using up to 24 per cent ethanol-gasoline
blends, while the U.S., Canada, and Sweden use 10 per cent blends.
Germany offers B20 (blend of 20 per cent bio fuel) and B100
options. Australia and Italy are following suit. Half a dozen
producers in the U.S. have 10,000 tones of capacity.
Awareness in India is only now giving shape
to projects. In Andhra Pradesh four companies are seriously
into it --- Southern Online Bio Technologies (SBT), Tree Oils
Ltrs (Zaheerabad), Naturol BioEnergy, and the GMR group.
Others include Vridheshwar SSK Ltd (Ahmednagar,
Maharastra), The Simbhioly Sugar Mills (Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh),
Mewar Sugar Mills (Jaipur), SM Dyechem (Thane, Maharastra),
R.S. Petrochemicals (Punjab) and Progressive Petroleum (Mumbai).
The Aditya Birla Group proposed a project in Malaysia, which
did not come off.
They feel that the Government should offer incentives
to offset risks of a Greenfield area. N. Satish Kumar, Managing
Director of SBT which is setting up Rs. 15 crores 30 tpd (second
phase to 100 tpd), favours sales tax exemptions, income tax
holidays and duty free import of non-edible oils (till indigenous
raw material is available). They argue that once the industry
takes firm roots, the farmers would automatically benefit. C.S.
Bhaskar, Managing Director of Nuturol, is waiting for the State
and Central Government's bio-fuel policies and incentives to
achieve financial closure of their 300 tonnes per day Rs. 135
crore plant proposed at Kakinada.
is joint venture of FeClean Energy Inc. (U.S.) and Energea Gmbh,
Austria. They plan to promote Pongamia / Jatropha cultivation
in 1.20 lakh acres, and import raw material (oils) till farmers