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Universal Biofuels expands customer base with biodiesel sales to retail fuel stations

In India, biodiesel producer Universal Biofuels, a subsidiary of US-headed advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc. has completed construction of distribution tanks and other infrastructure to begin sales of biodiesel to retail fuel stations from the Kakinada, biodiesel plant. The move follows a decision by the Supreme Court in late 2018 that allows the retail sale of biodiesel in India for the first time.

Aemetis subsidiary in India, Universal Biofuels operates a 50 million US gallon (≈190 million litres) per annum biodiesel plant in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh (photo courtesy Aemetis).

Aemetis subsidiary in India, Universal Biofuels operates a 50 million (US) gallon (≈190 million litres) per annum biodiesel plant in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh (photo courtesy Aemetis).

Retail biodiesel customers in India include agricultural uses in tractors and stationary power units, as well as diesel trucks, buses, taxis, and cars. After extensive engine testing, the India government approved the use of 100 percent biodiesel to replace diesel, so retail biodiesel customers in India are able to purchase a cleaner, lower cost, domestically produced, renewable biofuel to displace imported diesel.

The India government biofuels policy adopted in mid-2018 seeks to offset more than 1.2 billion gallons of diesel with domestically produced biodiesel by increasing the target consumption for domestic biodiesel from less than 1 percent to 5 percent. With the recent court approval and subsequent launch of retail sales of biodiesel, our India plant continues to expand its customer base to include the government, truck fleet owners, logistics companies and now retail fuel stations, explained Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.

Recently, the Aemetis plant in India completed installation of a pre-treatment unit to process lower-cost and waste feedstock into oil; expand boiler and other utility capacities, and implement environmental systems. The upgrades enable full production of 50 million (US) gallons (≈ 190 million litres) per annum of biodiesel and bio-oil by simultaneous operation of the biodiesel, pretreatment, and glycerin refining units.

In mid-2018, the Goods & Services Tax in India on biodiesel was reduced from 18 percent to 12 percent to the support expansion of biodiesel. The India government also recently issued a purchase requisition for approximately 260 million (US) gallons (≈ 984 million litres) of biodiesel for 2019 to be supplied by domestic India biodiesel producers

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