Jonathan on October 7th, 2008

The race is on to find reliable and realistic foodstocks to produce biodiesel. In keeping with the rest of the world to voluntarily contribute to the advancement of alternative fuels, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Ltd, the state run oil refinery of India, has recently announced that it will commit nearly four hundred and eighty million dollars to the production of biodiesel from jatropha plants. Rich in oil, the plants are perfect as a renewable resource as they are not edible and do not conflict with human food sources.

In a joint venture with Nandan Biometrix, Ltd, the jatropha grower and Shapoorji Pallonji Co. Ltd, a construction company, the newly formed company Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd will be responsible for converting the jatropha to biodiesel. One million hectares of the plants will be planted and harvested in the next four years in response to the September 11th announcement by the Indian government to require a twenty percent mixture of bio fuels in all transportation fuels sold by the year 2017.

To keep valuable farmlands available for edible food sources, the government is encouraging organizations to use wastelands as growing areas. One such area, in which the national petroleum company has invested, is in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. To further encourage production of biodiesel, new policies allow for tax and duty concessions. In addition, the government has banned the importation of animal fats previously used as the raw materials to make biodiesel oil.

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