India's HPCL-Mittal Energy to start 100,000-tpy bio-ethanol plant in 2023

A worker walks inside the complex of Guru Gobind Singh oil refinery near Bhatinda in the northern Indian state of Punjab

By Matthew Chye and Mohi Narayan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - India's HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd will start up a bio-ethanol plant at its Bathinda refinery in northern India in 2023 as part of measures to reduce its carbon emissions, a company official said on Wednesday.

"Our company is in the process of constructing 100,000 tonnes per annum ethanol plant based on agricultural inputs like waste food," Pravin Shirke, assistant general manager at HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), told a forum at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC).

The plant will be operational next year, he added.

HMEL is a joint venture between state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Mittal Energy Investments.

India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, has expanded the excise duty exemption for biofuels to encourage the blending of higher proportions of ethanol and components of vegetable oil with gasoline and diesel.

India plans to introduce 20% ethanol blending with gasoline in some parts of the country from April next year, followed by a nationwide roll out from 2025/26.

(Reporting by Matthew Chye, Writing by Mohi Narayan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)