Close on the heels of its historic outreach to African nations and the successful launch of the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA), India will soon welcome delegations from countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda who are keen to replicate India’s ethanol blending and biogas initiatives, senior officials from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas have confirmed.
Launched on the sidelines of the recent Group of Twenty (G20) summit, the GBA aims to reshape the global landscape and expedite the uptake of biofuels worldwide, set standards for biofuel, expand the size of formal biofuel markets, and better map demand and supply.
Apart from G20 member South Africa, non-G20 nations like Kenya and Uganda also made up the list of 19 signatory nations.
“Faced with increasing oil import bills for a growing population, both these nations have shown keen interest in adopting ethanol blending in petrol for transportation after learning about the benefits and success of India’s programme,” said a senior official.
The visiting teams will interact with oil-marketing companies (OMCs) and other stakeholders during their upcoming visit, an official said. While in India, the countries may also sign government-to-government memoranda of understanding on collaboration and information sharing with Indian agencies and OMCs, he added. Officials said talks on finalising the visit are at an advanced stage.
“In countries like Kenya, ethanol is already being used as a cooking fuel. Ethanol with 93 per cent purity is imported by Kenya from Brazil and used for cooking purposes and is marketed by Gandhinagar-based KOKO Networks. The company has 1 million customers in Kenya,” another official said.
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The nations have expressed particular interest in replicating the model of government incentives that central government schemes have used to attract investments for necessary infrastructure in the sector. This includes the Pradhan Mantri Jaiv Indhan-Vatavaran Anukool Fasal Awashesh Nivaran Yojana, which provides financial support to OMCs for setting up integrated second-generation bio-ethanol projects.
The ministry also plans to showcase the Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBARdhan) scheme that aims to set up new solid waste management plants that produce energy from organic waste.
Uganda is keen to learn about India’s existing compressed biogas (CBG) programmes. This includes the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation scheme, which incentivises the production of CBG from various biomass sources and targets the setting up of 5,000 commercial CBG plants by 2025.