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To Discard Effects of Stubble Burning, 2G Bio-refinery Plant Installed in Punjab's Bathinda

HPCL's 2G bio-refinery in Bathinda stands as a shining example of how innovative and sustainable practices can effectively combat air pollution, promote the use of renewable energy sources, and foster a greener future for India.

Shivam Dwivedi
CAQM Evaluates HPCL's Rs 1,400 Crore 2G Bio-Refinery Plant in Bathinda: Paddy Straw to Ethanol Project Progress Review (Representative Photo Source: Pixabay )
CAQM Evaluates HPCL's Rs 1,400 Crore 2G Bio-Refinery Plant in Bathinda: Paddy Straw to Ethanol Project Progress Review (Representative Photo Source: Pixabay )

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), is making significant strides in its commitment to environmental sustainability with the establishment of a Second Generation (2G) bio-refinery plant in Bathinda, Punjab. This groundbreaking project comes with a hefty price tag of more than Rs 1,400 crore, showcasing HPCL's dedication to promoting cleaner and greener energy solutions.

The primary objective of this 2G bio-refinery is to harness the potential of paddy straw for the production of ethanol, which will be used for blending with petrol as part of the Ethanol Blending Program initiated by the Central Government. The utilization of agricultural residue for ethanol production not only addresses the issue of paddy straw burning but also contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The progress of setting up this eco-friendly plant has garnered attention and monitoring from the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM). The Commission recently conducted a site visit to the Bathinda facility, where it reviewed the project's development alongside the Chief Managing Director (CMD) of HPCL and District Administration officials.

The 2G ethanol plant is designed to have a production capacity of 100 Kilo Litres (KL) of ethanol per day. To achieve this, a substantial 570 metric tons of paddy straw will be processed daily, which translates to an impressive annual intake of 200,000 metric tons. The plant is on its way to completion, with expectations that it will be commissioned by the end of this year.

In preparation for full-scale operations, the plant has already commenced the procurement of biomass. The pace of procurement is expected to pick up momentum in the coming days. HPCL has been working closely with the State Government of Punjab, District Administration, and the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) to address and streamline issues related to biomass procurement. As part of these efforts, agreements have been established with local Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Bathinda and nearby areas, facilitating the procurement of more than 23,000 metric tons of paddy straw.

One of the key benefits of this project is its potential to significantly reduce the instances of paddy straw burning in Punjab, particularly in Bathinda District. The positive impact is already becoming evident, as the number of paddy stubble burning cases in Bathinda has substantially decreased from September 15 to November 1 this year. In 2022, there were 880 cases of paddy straw burning, whereas this year, the number has dropped to just 294, demonstrating the project's success in mitigating the environmental challenges associated with agricultural residue disposal.

As the project nears completion, it paves the way for a more environmentally conscious and economically viable approach to addressing the issue of paddy straw management.

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