Indian Gasohol to pump in Rs 13600 cr in Bihar

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At a time when big sugar companies such as Dhampur and Rajshree are looking to delay their investment in Bihar, Tamil Nadu based Indian Gasohol Ltd has proposed to pump in Rs 13,557 crore in the state over the next 3-4 years. This is the single-largest investment proposal received by the state after the Nitish Kumar government took over. The state cabinet on Friday has given its approval to the proposal, said a senior state official.

"The company would set up 10 distilleries for producing ethanol from sugar cane with a combined capacity of 54 lakh tonne annually. Each unit will have a crushing capacity of 25,000 tonne crushed daily (tcd)," he said. The company does not plan to produce here as sugarcane juice will be directly used in the manufacture of ethanol. This will be a new trend as most of the Indian companies produce ethanol from molasses, a by-product from sugar production. The work is expected to start this year. By the time all the units go on stream, the country is expected to witness significant demand for ethanol as a result of the government’s plan to blend petrol with five per cent ethanol.

"Apart from ethanol, the mills would also generate 2000 mw of energy out of bagasse. Of this, about 1450 mw would be supplied to the state grid while the rest would be used to run the units. This would help the state to tide over the power shortage to a large extent", the official said.

The company has offered to buy sugarcane at a price of Rs 1250 per tonne from farmers. The units are expected to provide direct employment to 50,000 people and indirect employment to two lakh people. The compnay would give training to 18,000 state farmers on growing sugarcane to increase the per acre yield to 50 tonne from the current 30-40 tonne. The farmers would also be given solar energy operated pump sets for carrying out irrigation. The units will be set up in district of Buxar, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Araria, Khatihar, Bhagalpur and Nalanda.