Villagers demand implementation of NRL bio-refinery project

A Correspondent

GOLAGHAT,March 31: The villagers residing near Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) staged a torchlight rally on Friday evening, demanding immediate implementation of NRL expansion project and bio refinery project at Numaligarh.
 Various organizations also took part in the programme and appealed to the authority concerned to take immediate initiative for implementing bio-refinery project and NRL expansion activities at Numaligarh.
 Notably, the NRL has inked an important ‘framework agreement’ with its technology partner Chempolis Oyo of Finland to give concrete shape to the implementation of the Rs 950-crore bio-refinery project. The project is designed to produce 49,000 tonnes of bioethanol annually with co-production of furfural and acetic acid using ‘formicobio’ technology of Chempolis Oyo. The plant will use bamboo, which grows abundantly in the region. The project has been planned to keep in view the future demand of bio-fuel in the region. As a green initiative to produce energy from renewable sources, the bio refinery project is expected to give a fillip to bamboo cultivation in the region on commercially sustaible basis, generating large-scale employment and ushering in socio-economic transformation of the Northeast.
But some quarters are opposing the implementation of such a project in Numaligarh for mysterious reasons.  The people of nearby areas have demanded implementation of this project as it will create more engagement and socio-economic development in local areas.
Talking to this correspondent, the senior General Mager of (PR/ER) NRL, Mintu Kumar Handique said that for requirement of feedstock like bamboo, they had approached galand, Aruchal Pradesh and Manipur as well as the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao (NC Hills) in Assam where bamboo grows in abundance. Assurance with regard to supply of bamboo in required quantities has been received from the aforesaid States and NC Hills.
“Samples of bamboo collected have already been sent to our technology provider M/s Chempolis Oyo, Finland for testing and the results have been encouraging. This project has tremendous potential to change the overall socio-economic status of the entire region,” he added.