Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal laid the foundation stone of the country's first 2G ethanol bio-refinery in Bargarh district on Wednesday.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited will set up the ethanol plant with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore to produce three crore litres of fuel grade ethanol annually. The ethanol produced from this plant will be blended with petrol.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, present on the occasion, said the refinery will be a harbinger of socio-economic development in Odisha.
"With production of 17-18 lakh metric tonne paddy at Bargarh, there is always an equal amount of straw production. Farmers hardly use 6-7 lakh metric tonnes as fodder for the cattle and other uses whereas they burn 10-12 lakh tonne that creates severe environmental hazards including production of carbon," he said.
Pradhan said the setting up of the bio-refinery will be a permanent solution to such problems along with economic development of the farmers.
The bio-refinery will utilise about two lakh tons of rice straw annually which will be sourced from nearby locations.