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Indian Railways to set up four biodiesel plants

PTI. State-owned Indian Railways will set up four biodiesel plants at a cost of about Rs 120 crore (US$26.3 million).

Two plants will be commissioned at Raipur and Chennai during the next two years, and the other two units will be set up subsequently. Each plant, estimated to cost around Rs 30 crore (US$6.6 million), will produce 30 tons of biodiesel per day, or more than 9,000 tons a year (more than about 10.2 million liters per year, or about 2.7 million gallons US per year), the official said.

The biodiesel will be blended with petroleum diesel for running locomotives. Indian Railways currently uses about 2.2 billion liters (581 million gallons US) of diesel per year.



WOW. This will account for 0.46% of the locomotives consumption. Production will have to be further increased by 22000 times to satisfy one single demand.


" Each plant, estimated to cost around Rs 30 crore (US$6.6 million)..or about 2.7 million gallons US per year), the official said.[@$3.5/gal=$9.45M]=>9 month payback(18 month with bio-mass/expense?)

So, what are they/we waiting for?


Q&D: 4 plants x 2.7M gal. each = 10.8M divide into 581M gal. yearly use = 1.89% (~55 times the 4 plants = 220 plants for all diesel locomotive annual demand.)


For all the naysayers...if there is a major interruption in world oil supply, the value of these biofuel gallons will increase significantly.
No, you're not going to replace fossil oil with biofuel. But anything that reduces fossil oil is a good thing.


Electrifying railroads will replace more petroleum faster than biodiesel can.


These are pilot plants. a full size plant would produce around 10-100 million gallons a year.


wintermane2000, biomass transport costs may force the plants to stay small and more dispersed/local?

Still, such a short payback period seems worth follow through.

Henry Gibson

Biomass is better used to feed the cattle or modified to feed the people. Both cattle and pet food was once and still can be made from natural gas or gasified coal. If there is an electrical grid anywhere close to the biomass, it is far more efficient to make electricity from the gasified biomass and feed it into the grid for use by electric locomotives. ..HG..


Well said E-P. EU, Japan, China and a few other countries are doing it, but not us.


Yes and no. Catenary costs and maintenance are HUGE. France can handle it, India?? And weather, probably not in India, can be a problem. Better to be able to refuel wherever with as much locally grown bioD as possible. There are crop rotation and transportation concerns as well.


If Russia can handle it for the length of the trans-Siberian, it makes sense for any line with the traffic.

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