Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the country would procure biodiesel produced from used cooking oil (UCO) at a rate of Rs 51 per litre in first year, which would go up further to Rs 52.7 per litre and 54.5 per litre respectively in the second and third year, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion to mark the World Biofuel Day at Vigyan Bhavan here, the Minister said the OMCs have made an assurance to procure the entire quantity of biodiesel produced from UCO in the country. The OMCs – IndianOil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited – would also bear the cost of transportation and GST for the first year, he said.

The event in which Minister of Science and Technology Harshvardhan participated also released a sticker RUCO that denotes Repurpose Used Cooking Oil and a mobile app for facilitating the collection of UCO to mark this year’s World Biofuel Day theme, “Production of biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil”.

The EoI on biodiesel from UCO provides that the entrepreneurs setting up biodiesel plants get remunerative price and assurance of complete offtake of production by the Oil companies. To be launched in 100 cities, EoI will ensure that Rs 51/ litre is paid for biodiesel for the first year, Rs 52.7 for the second year and Rs 54.5 for the third year. The oil companies will also bear the cost of transportation and GST for the first year.

Oil imports

Pradhan said his ministry has been given the mandate of bringing down import dependency of oil products by 2022 and this can be achieved by enhancing production, improving energy efficiency, promoting conservation and encouraging alternative fuels. He said the ministry is working on a four-pronged strategy in this regard – promoting ethanol, 2-G ethanol, compressed bio-gas and bio-diesel.

According to him, the ethanol blending of petrol has already gone up to 8 per cent and would soon touch 10 per cent. The government is planning to allow production of ethanol from surplus foodgrains which now sometimes go waste.

There is also plan to use compressed bio-gas in City Gas Distribution network which is being set up in over 400 districts and already 300 letters of intents have been signed with entrepreneurs for setting up compressed bio-gas plants.

Vardhan said there are a number of technologies developed within the country that can be used to convert waste into useful products. He also said that Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana – the project that gives cleaner cooking fuel to rural households — helped millions of people in improving their health.