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First bio-diesel plant in Nashik

February 23, 2006 18:57 IST
Isonox Bio-Energy, the first bio-diesel manufacturing unit in Nashik, has started operations at the Ambad area of MIDC Nashik. The unit will manufacture bio-diesel from Jatropha curcas seeds.

With an aim to meet the demand of raw material, which in this case happens to be Jatropha curcas seeds, the company has decided to promote cultivation of the plant in Nashik. Around 800 farmers are planning Jatropha cultivation on 1,500-acre land in the district.

Speaking to Business Standard, Sumit Jain, director, Isonox Bio-Energy, said, "The oil from Jatropha curcas seeds can be successfully converted into bio-diesel, a suitable replacement for petroleum or mineral diesel. It burns in normal diesel engines just like normal petro-diesel, emits black smoke, increases lubricity and increase overall efficiency of the diesel engine."

"As a result, it cuts down the diesel consumption from 5-25 per cent even when it is used in small blend of 2-5 per cent. The great advantage is that bio-diesel can be used without any modification in engines," he added.

The production capacity of Isonox Bio-Energy will be increased from the current 2,000 litre per day to 10,000 litre per day by Diwali this year.

Further, the capacity will be increased to 1 lakh litre per day by the end of 2007. Initially, the Delhi-based Grow Diesel Ventures is supplying us oil of Jatropha curcas seeds, which we will convert into bio-diesel. Currently, we have invested Rs 10 lakh and we will invest more as per rise in the production capacity.

"This bio-diesel manufacturing unit is set up here with technological and management backup by Grow Diesel Ventures and Smart Management Systems from New Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. We are planning to supply our product to large end users," Jain said.

"To meet the demand of raw materials, we are helping farmers to undertake the plantation of Jatropha curcas by supplying them with high quality saplings and assured buyback of Jatropha seeds. We have set the target of bringing over 10,000 hectare wasteland under Jatropha plantation during the next three years," Sumit Jain said.

This will ensure the economic prosperity for millions of farmers across Maharashtra by providing them steady supplementary income. Around 800 farmers across Nashik district have shown their willingness to cultivate Jatropha on around 1,500 acre land.

As the cultivation of Jatropha curcas is economically not viable, the district farmers are seeking financial assistance from the government for cultivation of Jatropha curcas.

Giving economics of the Jatropha plantation, Jain said, "One litre oil is extracted from 3 kg Jatropha curcas seeds and one litre bio-diesel is manufactured from 1.5 litre oil of Jatropha curcas seeds. One-acre land requires 1,200 plants for Jatropha cultivation and an investment for Jatropha cultivation is around Rs 15,000-16,000 per acre. The life of the Jatropha plant is 40 years. It means you get Jatropha production from the very first year of its plantation. In the first year, you get 1 kg seeds per plant and 7 kg seeds per plant from the second year onwards."

Isonox Bio-Energy, which is the first bio-diesel manufacturing plant in Maharashtra, is the joint venture of its three partners - Sumit Jain, Dhiraj Gavai and Zia Shaikh.
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