Indian Oil plans foray into bio-crop biz
Hindu BusinessLine July 30, 2007
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), a major fuel supplier in the country, proposes to get into agri-related activities, particularly bio-crops. IOC has taken steps to bring in suitable amendments in its memorandum of association that would enable the company to carry out business in bio-fuels and allied products.
This in effect would allow IOC to go for cultivation of plants like jatropha to be used for blending with diesel. The company has already issued notice for a postal ballot to seek its shareholders’ approval for the special resolution to amend the clause that prescribes the businesses which IOC can undertake.
A senior IOC official told Business Line that the company hopes to incorporate a clause enabling it to carry out, organise, develop, exploit and manage within the country or overseas any business relating to and allied to discovery, development, farming, cultivation, extraction, processing and manufacture of bio-fuels and allied products and services.
IOC proposes to take up amendment in its annual general meeting scheduled for September.
Though the company plans to be part of the full chain in alternative fuels category, it wants to tread cautiously. “There is still not much clarity on the bio-diesel policy, hence, the company wants to progress cautiously,” the official added.
For getting into jatropha plantation, IOC is looking for availability of continuous land areas, and has applied to the Madhya Pradesh Government. The company has invited expression of interest from seed vendors and those who can undertake large-scale plantation activities.
States like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan were keen on bio product activities. IOC is hoping to initiate plantation activity in another six months.
As regards its joint activities with the Railways, the official said, “We were helping the Railways and the Haryana Government in bio-diesel procurement. We used to buy the product and sell it to them. However, it was not economically viable for us, as we were buying at a higher rate and selling them at a subsidised rate.”