Indian Biodiesel Industry Outlook: Navigating Growth, Policy Dynamics, and Investment Opportunities
To reduce dependency on imports and meet growing demand, government focuses on increasing domestic production of oil and gas, promoting energy efficiency and conservation measures, emphasizing demand substitution, promoting biofuels with the use of alternative clean fuels through launching National Biofuel Policy in 2018, and implementing refinery process improvements. Under the National Biofuel Policy 2018, the government has set targets to achieve 5% blending of biodiesel by 2030.
To address the major challenges of feedstock, government has introduced various policies to increase availability of feedstock such as
- National Food Security Mission for Oil Palm. This initiative aims to reduce palm oil imports by increasing domestic production of crude palm oil from 0.3 mio tonnes in 2022 to 2.8 mio tonnes by 2030; thus, ensuring the domestic availability of palm stearin for biodiesel.
- Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) initiative introduced by FSSAI, facilitating the collection and conversion of UCO into biodiesel. Oil with >25% Total Polar Compound (TPC) shall not be consumed by humans; hence government has been regularly monitoring TPC value to avoid re-use of UCO.
- Large food chains like McDonald's collects UCO on a daily basis from >100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune and sends to biodiesel producers
- Similarly, the National Biofuel Policy of 2018 highlights various mechanisms including international co-operation, adherence to quality standards, restricted trade to support domestic producers, additional feedstocks eligible for the biodiesel production, increased R&D, innovative financing, and 100% FDI. Additionally, the policy designates Oil Marketing Companies to oversee the distribution and marketing of biofuels for domestic consumption.