Godrej Industries is planning to commercially generate power from palm oil biomass in the next 2-3 years, a move expected to give boost to green energy production in the country. The company has started lobbying with the government to fix minimum support price (MSP) for palm oil in order to bring more agricultural lands under palm oil seed cultivation.
?We would appoint a consultant to explore the possibility of producing electricity from palm oil biomass. We currently generate two megawatt of power from biomass for our own consumption. We want to sell the energy produced by biomass,? Godrej Industries managing director Nadir B Godrej said.
Godrej said his company was supporting farmers in Maharashtra to cultivate palm oil by channelising the subsidy given by the government.
?More and more farmers would go for palm oil seed cultivation if the government fixed a minimum support price for it,? he said adding that the production cost of power generated by the biomass and that produced by coal is same.
As per an estimate the country currently imports 10 million tonne of palm oil for domestic consumption.
?It will take at teast 5-10 years to produce domestically even half of the palm oil imported annually,? Godrej said.
Industry estimates suggest that onetonne of wastes of palm oil mills or of rice husks of rice mills can generate 0.8 mw of electricity by using modern technology. At a time when the world is looking for more and more green resources for generating electricity, the waste of palm oil mills presents a commercially viable option to generate energy.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview to FE, Godrej Industries said the prices of fast moving consumer goods such as soap and detergents can go up in the short run due to increase in input cost.
?We see prices going up moderately, say by 5%, in the next few months,? Nadir Godrej said.
He added that margins have improved as compared to last year and continues to be good on higher volume.