Indian Oil Corporation’s Rs 900-crore 2G ethanol plant, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in August 2022, is set to reach 100% capacity utilisation in a few months from 30% now, said IOC’s Chairman and Managing Director, Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.
In an interaction with the journalists of The Hindu Group of publications, Vaidya said the feedstock for the bioethanol plant — rice husk (parali) — is available for collection only for about 45 days, and will need to be stored for the entire year. The plant will need 150,000 tonnes of feedstock every year. The collection of the feedstock has begun now, and the plant, therefore, will reach full capacity shortly, he said.
Refiners like IOC are required to supply petrol that has 20% (bio)ethanol by 2025. Vaidya said that in October, IOC’s blend was 12.5%, which will be raised to 15% next year, and then, gradually, to 20% by 2025.
Also, part of the 2G ethanol will go to the production of SAF (sustainable aviation fuels), which is also coming up near the Panipat refinery, under a joint venture with Lanzajet, a subsidiary of Lanzatech in which IOC has a stake. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme of International Aviation (CORSIA) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation has said that airlines will fly with 2% SAF blends. IOC will be supplying fuels that comply with that decision, said Vaidya.
Stressing that “going green is no more an option but an imperative”, Vaidya said, “I am supplying 9% of the country’s energy of all forms”. The number would go up to 12.5% by 2045. The entire increase would come from green sources, he said.