US biofuels and renewable chemicals company Aemetis announced on 10 January that it had completed a two-year upgrade of its Kakinada, India biodiesel and glycerine plant.
The plant now has the annual capacity to produce 165,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 18,000 tonnes of glycerine, with the average price of biodiesel sold in 2018 standing at US$900/tonne, and US$1,000/tonne for glycerine.
“The upgrade includes a pre-treatment unit to process lower-cost and waste feedstock into oil, and expansion of boiler and other utility capacities to enable full production of 50M gallons (189M litres) of biodiesel and bio-oil while simultaneously operating the biodiesel, pre-treatment and glycerine refining units,” Aemetis said.
"The Aemetis team in India is executing a rapid increase in production and revenues this year to meet growing domestic market demand for biofuels in a fast-growing economy," said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis. "As the only US company producing biofuels in India, Aemetis built and has now fully upgraded our India biodiesel and refined glycerine plant to use low cost feedstocks."
The company said the 2018 India National Policy on Biofuels raised the target for domestic biodiesel consumption from currently less than 1% to 5% of the approximately 25bn gallons (94bn litres)/year of petroleum diesel consumed.
In mid-2018, the Goods and Services Tax on biodiesel was reduced from 18% to 12% to encourage the usage of biodiesel.
In addition, the Indian government recently issued a purchase requisition for some 260M gallons (984M litres) of biodiesel for 2019 to be supplied by domestic biodiesel producers.