MoA signed for rice straw based bio-fuel production in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In a significant development, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed here today for production of rice straw based bio-fuel in Odisha.

The agreement was inked between Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) in presence of Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at auditorium of the varsity.

The proposed ‘Biofuel Chair’ will conduct research for screening of best agricultural crops and develop new agricultural varieties which can yield more cellulose content, tweeted Pradhan.

The move came in view of the rice production in Odisha, where the annual rice production is registered 85 lakh tonne with approximate production of 100 lakh tonne of rice straw. Except use of rice straw as fodder and few domestic purposes, it has no economic utilization.

BPCL came forward on technology partnership with OUAT for effective utilization of rice straw for bio-fuel production in a bio-chemical enzymatic process with financial support of Rs 5 crore. Out of the total budget allocation, Rs 2 Crore will be used as a corpus for BPCL chair and Rs 3 crore as research contingency for development, establishment and popularization of the bio-fuel production technology. This endeavour is in line with the policy decision for supplementation of 10% straw based ethanol for increasing fuel efficiency and reducing the pressure on fossil fuel.

The OUAT will support BPCL in strengthening technical support for ensuring smooth functioning of 2G Ethanol Bio-Refinery at Bargarh, Pradhan tweeted.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan proposed OUAT to establish an Agri-Business Incubation Centre in the campus to promote students, farmers and young entrepreneurs in Odisha. He urged the State government to extend all cooperation for the establishment of Incubation Centre at OUAT.

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