The Indian government has approved the closure of two joint ventures growing the jatropha energy crop for biofuels production.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the closures of CREDA HPCL Biofuel Ltd (CHBL) and IndianOil – Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) Biofuels Limited (ICBL) on 22 March.
According to a committee statement, all office assets of both joint ventures had been disposed of, no manpower remained on their payrolls, there was no financial outgo from the government and all lands had been returned to CREDA, along with the settling of all liabilities.
The committee said the closure of CHBL and ICBL would result in saving “unfruitful” expenditure on statutory compliance.
CHBL and ICBL were formed in 2008 and 2009, respectively, to plant jatropha and produce biodiesel from the crop.
CREDA, a subsidiary of Chhattisgarh, had provided wasteland to CHBL and ICBL through a land use agreement.
However, due to various constraints, including poor seed yield, limited availability of wasteland and high plantation maintenance costs, the projects became unviable and jatropha activities were discontinued, the statement read.