Railways to set up four biodiesel plants

In one of the biggest initiatives for bio-fuel production in the country, Indian Railways is poised to set up four bio-diesel plants costing about Rs 120 crore.

While two bio-diesel esterification plants are going to be commissioned at Raipur and Chennai during the next two years, the other two units will be set up subsequently, a senior railway ministry official said.

Each plant, estimated to cost around Rs 30 crore, will produce 30 tons bio-diesel per day, which means more than 9,000 tons a year, the official said.

Produced from waste oil, fatty acid and non-edible vegetable oil, bio-diesel will be blended with the HSD oil for running locomotives.

The use of bio-diesel will reduce the consumption of petro-diesel to some extent at present, the official said, adding the eco-friendly measure will also earn the Railways carbon credit worth Rs 2 crore per plant per year.

The Railways, a major consumer of diesel, currently consumes 2.2 billion litre diesel in a year.

The Railways is keeping a close track on global developments taking place in the field of use of alternate fuels, gas turbine engines, fuel cell technology for adoption of gas turbine locomotive on fossil fuels.

Trials are in progress for running locomotives on dual fuel mode using CNG, the official said.

Indian Railway Organisation for Alternative Fuels has been formed to take up projects for introduction of alternative fuels like CNG and bio-diesel.