Aemetis Inc. subsidiary Universal Biofuels has built distribution tanks and infrastructure to sell biodiesel to retail fuel stations in India. The company will sell biodiesel from Kakinada biodiesel plant in India.
According to Eric McAfee CEO and Chairman of Aemetis, the biofuels policy accepted by the Indian government in 2018 pursues to offset diesel exceeding 1.2 billion gallons with biodiesel that is produced domestically by driving the consumption for biodiesel from less than 1% to 5%. With the Supreme Court approval and introduction of retail sales of biodiesel in India, the company is focusing on expanding its customer base by including the government, logistics companies, truck fleets, and retail fuel stations.
In India, retail customers of biodiesel include stationary power stations, and agricultural uses, others include diesel buses, cars, taxis, and trucks. The government of India, after extensive testing of engines permitted the use of 100% biodiesel that can replace diesel. Thus, enabling the biodiesel retail customers in India to purchase domestically produced, low cost, renewable and cleaner biofuel in place of imported diesel.
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Aemetis plant in India recently completed the installation of pre-treatment unit in order to process low cost and waste feedstock into oil, increase boiler and other utility capacities and also establish environmental systems. The advancements by the company resulted in the 50 million gallons of fuel production per year including bio-oil and biodiesel along with the simultaneous operation of pretreatment for processing feedstock and units for glycerin refining.
The Indian government in 2018 reduced the goods and service tax on biodiesel from 18% to 12% in order to support the expansion of biodiesel. The government also issued purchase requisition for approx. 260 million gallons biodiesel for 2019 that is to be provided by domestic biodiesel producers in India.
Increasing energy needs, growing demand for renewable energy sources, and rising crude oil prices are resulting in the increasing demand for biodiesel across various countries. Among various industries, the automotive industry is moving towards using biodiesel as a viable alternative to petroleum diesel in vehicles owing to the high compatibility and reduction in emission of pollutants.
Governments across various countries are revising their biofuels policies and providing support for the research and development activities focusing on new technologies for producing biodiesel. This is resulting in the increasing number of biodiesel projects globally.
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With increasing crude oil prices, OPEC countries are also channelizing efforts to reduce the production of crude oil, this is likely to boost the demand for biodiesel in these countries. Moreover, the availability of low cost feedstock is one of the key factors driving the demand for biodiesel across countries. In the developed countries like Europe, there has been an increasing emphasis on production of biodiesel from non-edible oils, thus, driving the demand for vegetable oil as feedstock in the biodiesel production in the region in the near future.
Manufacturers operating in the biodiesel market are focusing on using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil technique to produce biodiesel as it yields valuable byproduct as compared to other production methods.