Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the country’s first greenfield grain-based ethanol plant in Purnea. According to Kumar, the ethanol production will help reduce the cost of petrol and generate employment.
The Rs 105-crore plant by Eastern India Biofuels Pvt Ltd is the first one developed since the government gave a go-ahead to Bihar’s ethanol production and promotion policy-2021.
Commenting On the occasion Kumar said, “We have made a start. We had been trying this since 2007. We had requested the then UPA government to give us the go-ahead when we received proposals for setting up ethanol units. Now, 20 percent ethanol can be mixed with petrol and diesel. The country will benefit immensely from ethanol production.”
The Purnea plant has been built with latest technology using zero waste discharge. It has been set up on about 15 acres of land and will buy 130 tons of rice husk and 145-150 tons of maize or rice from farmers every day, according to the media statement.
The ethanol produced at the plant will be exclusively sold to Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum in the state and in neighbouring states of West Bengal and Jharkhand, for which a 10year purchase agreement has been inked with the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). Speaking at the inauguration, state industry minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain added: “OMCs have signed an agreement with 17 units with the approved capacity of 1080 kilolitre per day. Of these 17 units, Eastern India Biofuels will begin production from April 30. Two units in Gopalganj and one in Bhojour are also ready to begin production.”