Biodiesel plants in India experienced a feverish coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19) when the Asian and West Asian countries stopped importing buffalo and goat meat, which resulted in a decrease in the production of animal fat, an important raw material for the production of biodiesel.

 

Tallou is a selected form of beef or lamb fat, which is used in winter as a raw material for the production of biodiesel. Animal fat or lard is used by most production companies because other sources, such as palm oil, are expensive. The problem is that animal fat is a by-product of the meat industry. Meat exports fell after the Kovid-19 outbreak, and since December our factories have been operating at 30-40% capacity, says Shiva Vig, director of BioD Energy, a biodiesel producer in Kharyana.

 

The problems were exacerbated when China began to reduce illegal imports by tightening border controls, which began in December at a cost of $2 billion a year.

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This is due to the fact that following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Beijing in 2001 a ban was imposed on direct imports of buffalo meat from India, with the result that the meat ended up in China via other countries. Approximately 60% of total meat exports still go via other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. For example, after the eruption of Covida-19 in December, my company suffered losses of more than 5 rupees per month. With the full blockade it has increased, said Mohammed Gulzar, owner of Al Suhail, a major supplier of animal fat in northern India.

 

According to the data available to the Ministry of Export Development of Processed Agriculture and Food (APEDA), of the total meat exports in 2018-19, Rs 25,168.33 thousand, Rs 11,914.49 thousand – to Vietnam, Rs 2,574.63 thousand – to Malaysia and Rs 2,266.99 thousand – to Indonesia will be accounted for.

 

Our occupancy rate is only 25% and we have suffered a loss of Rs. 25-30 over the past four months. The lock causes a loss of more than 3 rupees per month. Meat production has fallen because orders from countries in Asia and the Middle East have been suspended since January, resulting in reduced availability of lard, said Sartak Sony, director of Jaipur Rajputana Biodiesel. Sony added that there are about 40 to 50 biodiesel deposits in Rajasthan, and unless the government deems it necessary as a clean fuel, Covid-19 could completely destroy the industry.

 

Our industry is the one that suffered most from Covid-19. We are negotiating with the association’s member departments and customers to start production as soon as the closure is completed, says Sandeep Chaturvedi, president of the Biodiesel Industry Association of India (BDAI).