Joint venture to undertake India’s biggest biofuels project

By Control Engineering Staff February 15, 2006

New Delhi, India —A project funded by BP, in conjunction with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) —in Andhra Pradesh State—is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of producing biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas, a non-edible oil bearing crop.

The project will cultivate Jatropha in some 8,000 hectares of land currently designated as wasteland, and to install all the equipment necessary—seed crushing, oil extraction and processing—to produce 9 million liters of biodiesel annually. A full environmental and social impact assessment of the entire supply chain and life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions will be completed as part 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. 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,” explains Phil New, senior vice president of BP’s fuels management group.

TERI will be responsible for the day-to-day management and execution of the project, including the establishment and implementation of contracts with local farmers or agricultural cooperatives. They will also own and manage the processing facility.

Richard Phelps , senior editor, Control Engineering