CAQM Reviews Progress of Rs 1,400 Crore Plant Turning Paddy Straw into Ethanol
In an effort to combat the detrimental practice of paddy straw burning in Punjab, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), is in the process of setting up a cutting-edge Second-Generation (2G) bio-refinery plant in Bathinda, Punjab. This ambitious project, with a budget exceeding Rs 1,400 crore, is designed to harness paddy straw for the production of ethanol, a biofuel destined for blending with petrol as part of the Central Government’s Ethanol Blending Program.
The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) is closely monitoring the progress of this essential initiative. CAQM recently visited the plant site in Bathinda, conducting a comprehensive review in collaboration with HPCL and the District Administration of Bathinda.
At full capacity, the 2G ethanol plant is expected to produce an impressive 100 Kilo Litres (KL) of ethanol per day. To achieve this, a daily intake of 570 metric tonnes of paddy straw will be required, amounting to a substantial 2,00,000 metric tonnes annually. For the upcoming plant, scheduled for commissioning later this year, the procurement of approximately 1 lakh metric tonnes of biomass is already underway, with plans to accelerate this process in the coming days.
HPCL has been actively coordinating with the State Government of Punjab, the District Administration, and the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) to address and streamline various issues related to biomass procurement. Agreements have been successfully established with Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Bathinda and surrounding areas, resulting in the aggregation of over 23,000 metric tonnes of paddy straw.
The significance of this project lies not only in its contribution to sustainable energy production but also in its pivotal role in reducing the instances of paddy straw burning, particularly in Bathinda District. Already, the positive impact is evident, as the number of reported paddy stubble burning cases in Bathinda has dropped to 294 during the period from September 15th to November 1st this year, a remarkable improvement compared to the 880 cases in 2022. This project stands as a beacon of hope for cleaner air and a more sustainable future in Punjab.
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