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Govt to set up 12 modern biofuel refineries worth Rs 10,000 cr: PM

Govt to set up 12 modern biofuel refineries worth Rs 10,000 cr: PM

New Delhi: The NDA government at the centre is set to come up with 12 modern biofuel refineries across the country, aim to change the lives of farmers and to generate more employment.

On the occasion of 'World Biofuel Day', the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the ten thousand crore project will provide employment to 1.5 lakh youth.

The refineries will convert biomass into biofuel. "Biofuel will play the bridge between environment and economic development. One refinery will generate employment for 1,000-1,500 people. The increasing use of bio-fuels would also enhance farmers' income and generate employment in the country," the PM Modi mentioned while addressing a separate interactive session on ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG and 2nd Generation biofuels.

Reportedly, currently the country meets 80 per cent of its oil need through imports, and the government also believes that usage of biofuel will reduce the import bill."The government is trying to reduce dependence on CNG import and soon it will promote CNG vehicles in the villages," the Prime Minister avouched. Centre is also working to make bioCNG from farm waste.

Speaking on the very occasion, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan also said that the government has focused on biofuels as it helps fight climate change and also helps sugarcane farmers to raise their income. "World biofuel day is being observed since 2015 to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the government in the biofuel sector. The day reaffirms its commitment to increase farmers' income and improve the environment.

"Several steps further have been taken to improve the supply of ethanol for the lending programme, that has resulted in supplies jumping from 38 crore litres in 2013-14 to about 141 crore litres in the ongoing season," oil minister added.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also blamed the erstwhile governments for not taking the ethanol blending programme seriously and said now its production will triple to 450 crore litres in the next four years, leading to import savings of Rs 12,000 crore.

Pradhan said further that the incumbent government has notified the new 'National Policy on Biofuels-2018', which envisages a target of 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol by 2030. The policy has widened the scope of raw material for ethanol procurement.

On the occasion, PM Modi launched a web portal 'PARIVESH', a single window for environmental, wildlife, forest and Coastal Regulation Zone clearances. He also released a book on National biofuel Policy 2018.

Sugarcane and other farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs in biofuels, students of agriculture, science and engineering streams, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors, officers of central and state governments and companies involved in bio-energy sector, national and international media, and others were present in this programme at Vigyan Bhawan.

Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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