Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday laid the foundation stone for a large ethanol production unit in his constituency of Shiggaon in Haveri district.
VINP Distilleries & Sugars, a private sector company, is building the factory at an investment of Rs 380 crore on an 80-acre plot. The factory will also have a 14-MW cogeneration capacity.
The greenfield factory hopes to cash in on the big push blending of ethanol with petrol has received from the union budget. The demand for ethanol is expected to go up as petrol, not blended with ethanol, will attract an additional impost of Rs 2 per litre from October.
The factory will have a capacity to produce 300 kilo litres per day (KLPD) of ethanol by crushing 4000 tonnes per day (TPD) of sugar. The factory can produce ethanol from maize and paddy as well.
The chief minister said the factory will help farmers get a fair price for their produce as the factory focuses on value-addition.
Karnataka, he added, is on its way to get maximum benefit from the budget’s push to ethanol blending with petrol. Some sugar factories have set up ethanol units, he said.
“We will not produce sugar, but ethanol directly from the sugarcane juice. We are deploying state-of-the-art technology,” said Vivek Hebbar, managing director of the company. They are aiming to commission the factory by the end of this calendar year.
The factory will source inputs such as sugarcane and maize from Shiggaon, Mundaod and Kalghatagi, said Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar, who is also the district in-charge minister of Haveri.
The factory, Hebbar said, will create direct and indirect employment opportunities for about 1000 people. It will help about 12,000 sugarcane growers, he added.
In Shiggaon, crop yields are good because of the robust recharge of ground-water due to the lift irrigation projects the chief minister has launched, the minister said.
The VINP unit would require 4000 tonnes per day (TPD) of sugarcane. The factor will also give seeds to farmers to develop sugarcane cultivation.