Bathinda, Punjab: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a Central Government PSU, is setting up a Second Generation (2G) bio-refinery plant at Bathinda, Punjab at a cost of more than ₹1,400 crore. The 2G bio-refinery is designed for utilization of paddy straw for production of ethanol for blending with petrol under the Ethanol Blending Program of Central Government. The progress of setting up the plant is also being monitored by the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) and the Commission had also visited the plant premises in Bathinda and reviewed the progress with CMD, HPCL and District Administration, Bathinda.
The designed production capacity of this 2G ethanol plant is 100 Kilo Litre (KL) Ethanol/ day and for this purpose 570 MT of paddy straw would be utilized per day (2,00,000 MT annually), when the plant operates at its full capacity. Approximately 1 Lakh MT biomass will be procured in this season for use as feedstock for the upcoming 2G ethanol plant which is expected to be commissioned by this year end.
The plant has already commenced procurement of biomass and procurement is expected to accelerate in the next few days. HPCL has been coordinating with State Government of Punjab, District Administration and Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) to streamline and resolve issues relating to procurement. Agreements have been established with Self Help Groups (SHGs) of Bathinda and nearby areas for paddy straw procurement. More than 23,000 MT of paddy straw has already been aggregated.
This plant will reduce the instances of paddy straw burning in Punjab, especially in Bathinda District, significantly this year as well as in the years to come. The impact is already visible, as for the period 15th September to 01st November this year, total paddy stubble burning cases in Bathinda have come down to 294 as against 880 in 2022.