NEW DELHI: In the midst of the second wave of Covid, the state-owned IndianOil launched biodiesel made from used cooking oil (UCO) from restaurants on Tuesday, a game changer that can protect people from serious ailments by removing reused or burned cooking media from the food remove chaining and reduce oil imports.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has remotely canceled the first shipment from the company’s depot in Delhi’s Tikrikalan as part of the Randhan se Indhan (from cooking to refueling) program. He said the initiative will benefit the country economically by increasing the supply of indigenous biodiesel, reducing import dependency for oil and creating rural jobs.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had stated at the time the program started on August 10, 2019 that the repeated use of UCO can cause diseases such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and liver disease, among others.
On Tuesday, Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor said the initiative would help divert unhealthy waste oil from the food chain for “a more productive purpose.” “The use of UCO is a major breakthrough in the biodiesel program as raw material availability remains a challenge,” he said.
IndianOil chairman SM Vaidya said the company is trying to track the recent decline in UCO and ensure its conversion to biodiesel to contribute to “a safer, greener and healthier India”.
Eleven EoIs (expressions of interest) for UCO procurement were released for 200 locations between August 2019 and November last year. More EoIs are expected to be launched by December, increasing the number to 300 locations across the country. Pradhan said the state oil companies had issued 30 letters of intent. The companies regularly offer incremental price guarantees for five years with 10-year purchase guarantees for potential entrepreneurs.
During the launch, the companies announced that UCO would initially be procured at an insured price of 51 rupees per liter. This should be increased to Rs 52.70 per liter in the second year and to Rs 54.50 per liter in the third year. It was not known whether the LoIs were issued at these prices or not.
IndianOil has so far issued 23 LoIs for biodiesel plants with a total capacity of almost 23 Crore liters. The company received 51 kiloliters of UCO biodiesel at its Tikrikalan terminal in Delhi by March 31.
Pradhan also launched “Repurpose” In 2019, Pradhan had also launched a “RUCO” (Recycled Cooking Oil) sticker and a mobile phone application to collect used cooking oil to ensure it doesn’t get back into the ecosystem. Grocery, hotel and restaurant stickers should indicate that these establishments supply UCO for the production of biodiesel.