New Delhi: Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan remotely flagged off the first supply of UCO (Used Cooking Oil) based biodiesel blended diesel under the EoI scheme from Indian Oil’s Tikrikalan Terminal. Ministry of Petroleum's Secretary Tarun Kapoor (IAS) and Indian Oil's Chairman SM Vaidya were also present on the occasion. To create an eco-system for collection and conversion of UCO into biodiesel and developing entrepreneurship opportunities, the Petroleum Minister, along with Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan, had launched the EoI scheme for the “procurement of biodiesel produced from used cooking oil (UCO)” on the occasion of World Biofuel Day on August 10, 2019. And such EoIs have been periodically floated by oil marketing companies (OMCs). In the first phase, 11 EoIs were floated between August 10, 2019, to November 9, 2020, for 200 locations. Publication of EoIs has been extended for one more year up to December 31, 2021, for 300 locations across the country.
Under this initiative, OMCs offer periodically incremental price guarantees for five years and extend off-take guarantees for 10 years to prospective entrepreneurs. So far, Indian Oil has also issued 23 LOIs for Biodiesel plants with a total capacity of 22.95 crore litres (557.57 TPD). Under this initiative, Indian Oil has received 51KL of UCO-biodiesel at its Tikrikalan terminal in Delhi as of March 31.
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan complimented the oil industry on the stellar role they have played to keep the fuel lines running despite the stiff challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also lauded the OMCs for going beyond the usual business imperatives by extending support for medical oxygen supply to the nation in this crisis. Pradhan also appreciated Indian Oil’s leadership role in smoothening the liquid oxygen logistics in the country through various initiatives.
Referring to the flag-off of the first supply of UCO-based biodiesel from Indian Oil’s Tikrikalan Terminal, Pradhan said, “This is a landmark in India’s pursuance of biofuels and will have a positive impact on the environment. This initiative will garner substantial economic benefits for the nation by shoring up indigenous Biodiesel supply, reducing import dependence, and generating rural employment.” He appreciated the proactive role played by OMCs in this direction and shared that 30 LOIs have already been issued.
Kapoor, while delivering his address, said, “With this, a new era of bioenergy has been ushered in that will revolutionise the Indian petroleum sector. Feedstock availability in biodiesel is a challenge, and leveraging UCO can be a major breakthrough that will enable us to reach the target of 5 percent biodiesel blending. It will also help divert the unhealthy used oil from the food chain to a more productive purpose.” Kapoor also complimented Indian Oil for their focused drive on UCO-based biodiesel and for the concerted efforts undertaken to promote the benefits of biodiesel.
Earlier, Vaidya, while welcoming the gathering, said, “Indian Oil is committed to contributing to this remarkable drive to retrieve the unhealthy Used Cooking Oil (UCO) and usher in a revolution through “Randhan se Indhan.” We aspire to trace even the last drop of UCO and ensure its conversion to Biodiesel, thereby contributing to a more energy secure, greener and healthier India. This event is yet another significant step towards a Swachh and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.” He also shared that Indian Oil has started constructing eight biodiesels plants across Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel similar to conventional or ‘fossil’ diesel. It can be produced from vegetable oil, animal fats, tallow and waste cooking oil. A significant advantage of Biodiesel is its carbon-neutrality, i.e. the oilseed absorbs the same amount of CO2 as is released when the fuel is combusted in a vehicle. Also, Biodiesel is rapidly biodegradable and completely non-toxic.
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