Balrampur Chini Mills, the country's second-largest sugar firm, has got environment clearance for expansion of its Babhnan unit of distillery and co-generation power in Uttar Pradesh, entailing Rs 72-crore investment.
The company has proposed to increase the production capacity of its molasses-based distillery plant from 60 kilo litres per day to 100 kilo litres per day (KLD) along with co-generation power from 1 MW to 6.76 MW in Gonda district.
"We have given the environment clearance (EC) to Balarampur Chini Mills for expansion of its Badhnan unit in UP," a senior Environment Ministry official said.
The clearance was given last week and it is subject to some riders. The investment for the proposed expansion is estimated to be Rs 72 crore. The company has said it will do the expansion within the existing premises, the official said.
The company has informed the government that molasses will be the basic raw material that will used for manufacturing ethanol.
It would require 450 tonnes per day and will be procured from adjacent sugar unit and other units of Balrampur Chini.
The company is expanding the distillery capacity as the demand for ethanol has been continually increasing on account of the growth of user industries and use of ethanol as a fuel in the country.
It may be noted that the government has made five per cent blending of ethanol mandatory with petrol in order to cut import of crude oil and check pollution.
Balrampur Chini has 11 sugar factories in Uttar Pradesh, having an aggregate crushing capacity of 79,000 tonnes per day. It has three distilleries.