Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's assistance for setting up a Rs 750-crore ethanol plant in Bargarh district, as part of measures to promote eco-friendly alternative fuel. The plant is proposed to be set up by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) at Baulsingha in the district, he said. BPCL has already appointed Project Management Consultant for early commencement of developmental activities at the site. To support the Centre's Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme, Oil PSUs have decided to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) ethanol bio-refineries in 11 states, as an effective tool for development of rural economy. The programme is being implemented to promote the use of alternative and environment-friendly fuels. BPCL had requested the state government through the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL) for allocation of land in November, 2016. "Even after elapse of almost one year, land allotment for the project is yet to be done.
This is adversely affecting the project, which is being pursued in the interest of the people of Odisha," a statement from the Petroleum ministry said. This bio-refinery will also necessitate setting up of around 10 decentralised biomass collection depots in a radius of 50 km, it said, adding, there will be quantum jump in the labour and transportation activities, too. Feedstock for the plant will be agricultural waste, crop, residues from the adjoining area, which will be converted into ethanol and bio-manure. While ethanol produced from this bio-refinery will supplement the EBP Programme, bio-manure will get consumed in the nearby areas, thereby improving soil fertility, the statement said. The estimated feedstock consumption for this plant is 1,30,000 MT per annum, and it is expected to generate a value of Rs 8 crore per annum for farmers for their agricultural waste, it said. "Additionally, this venture will provide opportunity for rural entrepreneurs to generate direct and indirect employment for 800-1,000 persons, thereby generating additional income of Rs 10-12 crore per annum," the statement added.
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