Hyderabad: Naturol BioEnergy plans to set up a state-of-the-art bio diesel plant near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh in a joint venture with Fe Clean Energy Inc, USA, and Energea Gmbh, Austria.
The plant will beset up with an investment of Rs 135 crore and will have a capacity of 300 tonnes per day (tpd).
C S Bhaskar, managing director and ceo of Natural BioEnergy, at a press conference said that Naturol BioEnergea would provide technical assistance, while Fe Clean, a private equity fund dedicated to clean energy projects, would be the financier of the project. The joint venture agreement would soon be signed, he said.
According to Bhaskar the company plans to promote cultivation of jatropha and pongamia in around 1,20,000 acres of dry wastelands across the state and would enter into buy-back arrangements with farmers for sourcing raw material. According to him the jatropha and pongamia crops have a long gestation of about five years and hence till the plant attains self-sufficiency in raw material procurement, the company plans to import raw materials, which could be any vegetable oil.
For the import of raw material as well as machinery, the company is awaiting policy guidelines, he said.
Regarding the question of financial closure Bhaskar said the company would start working on this only after the central and Andhra Pradesh state governments finalised their bio fuel policies along with incentives for investors as well as growers.
According to George Sorenson, chairman, Fe Clean Energy (Asia), the $50-million fund had allocated $30 million for investing in clean energy projects like hydel projects, biomass power plants bio-diesel plants in the Asian region. The fund has chosen India, Thailand and the Philippines for their prospective investments.
In India, the fund has chosen to invest in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra due to the pro-active initiatives of the governments of these states in promoting clean energy projects, he said.
M Mareppa, minister for lift irrigation & groundwater department, said the government was working on a policy to encourage farmers to cultivate jatropha and pongamia plans in around two lakh hectares in the districts of Anantapur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Chittoor, Maharashtra, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy districts. Later this month the government would issue the guidelines for buy-back arrangements to be entered into by bio-diesel plant managements and growers, he said.