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Govt launches programme to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel

Govt launches programme to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel

New Delhi: The government launched a movement over the awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels on Saturday, celebrating World Biofuel Day.

Last year, the maiden Modi-government pitched for the compressed biogas, whereas, this year with the collaboration of FSSAI and the health ministry, the petroleum and the natural gas ministry launched the conversion of used cooking oil (UCO) into biodiesel. The Oil Marketing Companies (IOC, HPCL and BPCL) further chose this day to float an Expression of Interest (EoI) for procurement of biodiesel from UCO across 100 cities.

The purpose is to encourage the applicants to set up biodiesel producing plants from UCO, processing plants and further utilising the existing potential of UCO based biodiesel in India. EoI will ensure that Rs 51/- litre is paid for Biodiesel for the first year, Rs 52.7/- for the second year and Rs 54.5/- for the third year.

While addressing the occasion, oil and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan stressed that biofuels have the benefits of reduction of import dependence and give a cleaner environment. Biofuel programme also complements the government's initiatives of Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. "Abundant raw material is available for the purpose. It is a good waste of wealth concept. The budget this year has underlined the transformation of Annadata to Urjadata," the minister said.

During his address, Pradhan also emphasised that the growth in ethanol blending in Petrol has gone up from 1 per cent to about 8 per cent. It is likely to touch 10 per cent soon. In that case, the government is planning to allow the production of ethanol from surplus foodgrains which now sometimes go waste and also entail expenditure on storage.

Similarly, the scheme of collecting the UCO and its conversion to biodiesel will have environmental, economic and health benefits, besides helping the country attain self-sufficiency. He called upon the OMCs to support the entrepreneurs in their endeavour.

Health minister Harsh Vardhan enumerated a number of technologies developed within the country to convert the waste into useful products. He emphasized on enforcement, educating and raising awareness about perils of repeatedly using cooking oil, besides offering incentives for disposing of it in a productive, useful and safe manner. "There is a need to develop a societal movement around it. Hence, the government has launched the Eat Right India campaign, and there is a need to extend it Eat Less also," the minister mentioned.

During the programme both the ministers, chairman of FSSAI Pawan Agarwal and Secretary, Ministry for Petroleum and Natual Gas MM Kutty launched RUCO sticker for restaurants and other food chains to ensure that it does not reuse the cooking oil. The RUCO App will enable stakeholders to track and trace all transactions.

Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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