BP to Fund Promising Indian Biofuel Study

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will demonstrate the feasibility of producing biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas, a non-edible oil-bearing crop in a project in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh expected to take 10 years with funding from BP for $9.4 million.

“Recent developments have made green fuels economically attractive in view of the resource potential of this option and the environmental benefits associated with it, along with employment generation and empowerment of the rural population,” said RK Pachauri, TERI Director General. “We at TERI are very pleased to join forces with BP and are confident that integrating the strengths of the two organizations will provide a significant breakthrough for the country in this field, which is full of promise,” said Pachauri. The project, which is scheduled to produce 9 million liters of biodiesel per annum, calls for cultivation of around 8,000 hectares of land (currently designated as wasteland) with Jatropha, and install all the equipment necessary for seed crushing, oil extraction and processing. TERI is to be responsible for the day-to-day management and execution of the project. “In some parts of the world there is only limited availability of land to produce food crops and therefore no surplus which can be used for energy crops,” said Phil New, senior vice president of BP’s fuels management group. “Because Jatropha is drought resistant and can grow on marginal land, it offers the possibility of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable contribution to energy security challenges in India.” As part of the project, a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of all elements of the supply chain and life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions will be completed.

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