By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 24, 2017: The leading Indian government owned petroleum company Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has entered into a partnership with Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) for effective utilization of rice straw for bio-fuel production in a bio-chemical enzymatic process with a financial support of Rs 5 crore.

The agreement was inked in presence of union petroleum & natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan at auditorium of the varsity.

At present, the state yields 85 lakh tonne rice and around 100 lakh tonne rice straw annually.

The large acreage and production of rice in the state provides ample opportunities to excel in promotion of rice straw-based bio-fuel, a BPCL statement said.

Of the total budget allocation, Rs 3 crore will be used as research contingency for development, establishment and popularization of the bio-fuel production technology, it said.

This endeavor is in line with the Centre’s policy decision for supplementation of 10 per cent straw-based ethanol to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pressure on fossil fuels.

The move came in view of the rice production in Odisha, where the annual rice production is registered 85 lakh tonne with approximate production of 100 lakh tonne of rice straw. Except use of rice straw as fodder and few domestic purposes, it has no economic utilization.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan proposed OUAT to establish an Agri-Business Incubation Centre in the campus to promote students, farmers and young entrepreneurs in Odisha. He urged the State government to extend all cooperation for the establishment of Incubation Centre at OUAT.