India official sheds light on local biodiesel industry
India’s Press Information Bureau recently published a brief statement regarding the state of the country’s biodiesel industry. The statement, which is posted to the government’s website, is attributed to information provided by the Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Farooq Abdullah, in a written response to a question posed to him in Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of the Parliament, on March 26.
In his response, Abdullah said that a total of 3,470 metric tons (1.04 million gallons) per day of biodiesel production has been established within the country by private industry. A total of four plants, representing 1,750 metric tons (525,342 gallons) per day have been established in the past three years alone by private industry. Those plants are located in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In addition, he said that one demonstration plant with a capacity of 3 metric tons (901 gallons) per day was established by the Chattisgarh Bio-fuel Development Board in 2005.
The statement published by the Press Information Bureau also stated that the Central Government of India has not allocated or spent any funds on construction of biodiesel plants. The statement further includes a note that the India Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has informed the Abhullah and the Press Information Bureau that no biodiesel has been procured by oil marketing companies for blending with diesel during the past three years.
Although India’s biodiesel industry is small, it does show potential for growth. This week World Health Energy Holdings announced plans to establish algae biodiesel production in two areas of the country are moving forward.
It seems that plans are also progressing to establish additional jatropha cultivation within India. In early March Biodiesel Magazine reported that JOIL Pte. Ltd. had achieved its first-year yields of its India field trials, achieving more than 2 tons of seeds per hectare.