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  Railways take a serious look at bio-diesel

The Hindu reports today that the first trial run of a train using diesel blended with a natural non-edible oil took place on Dec 31,02. The Shatabdi bewteen Delhi and Amritsar used a 5% blend of Jatropha oil with diesel. The run was satisfactory and railways are now planning a ‘full-fledged’ , high profile run.

Making a breakthrough via the railways is excellent strategy as they are India’s largest consumers of diesel. If they use just a 5% blend about Rs.150 crores would be shaved from their annual fuel bill. They are in fact planning to go upto 10%. The limit in world practice is 15%.

The other reason why railways is the best first-customer is the acres of land they own along the tracks. They intend planting it for bio-diesel creating further synergies by way of savings and jobs creation. The preferred oil plant would be Jatropha as it is a shrub and therefore does not block view.

For those who have not been following this story here is a starting point.