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FSSAI launches RUCO


Takes a Leap Forward towards Green, Clean and Healthy India

New Delhi, 10th Aug 2018: On World Biofuel Day, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched RUCO – Repurpose Used Cooking Oil, an ecosystem that will enable the collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel. Being one of the largest consumers of vegetable oil, India has the potential to recover 220 crore litre of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) for the production of biodiesel by the year 2022 through coordinated action. It is no coincidence that RUCO in Hindi means stop. This ecosystem will serve as a word of caution to businesses and consumers to step back and stop usage of the cooking oil after repeated frying

The announcement comes one month after the apex food body laid down regulations to monitor the usage of used cooking oil. These regulations prescribe the limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) to be a maximum 25%, beyond which the cooking oil is unsafe for consumption. FSSAI is working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India (BDAI) and the food industry to ensure effective compliance of UCO standards.

The regulator is implementing an Education, Enforcement and Ecosystem (EEE) strategy to divert UCO from the food value chain and curb current illegal practices. Therefore, ensuring good health and welfare of all its 130-crore citizens, aiding energy security, climate change mitigation, and leading to environmentally sustainable development. On the education front, FSSAI is currently publishing guidance documents, tips for consumers and posters. Leading the bandwagon and being one of the most active government bodies on social media, it has undertaken several awareness campaigns through its e-channels. The regulator has released regulations and standardised test methods to ensure enforcement of used cooking oil. With the RUCO ecosystem, FSSAI enables effective repurposing of UCO.

As of now, used cooking oil is either not discarded at all or is disposed in an environmentally hazardous manner and sometimes even finds its way to smaller restaurants, database, and street vendors. India could learn from its Chinese counterpart.

The Government, vide notification dated 29th June 2017 has allowed for the direct sale of Biodiesel (B-100) for blending with High-Speed Diesel to all consumers, in accordance with specified blending limits and standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). During 2017-18, Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) have procured 4.36 crore litres of bio-diesel against 3.59 crore liters in 2016-17. For 2018-19, LoIs have been issued by OMCs for procurement of 8.63 crore litres of bio-diesel. Additionally, GST rates on biodiesel have been reduced from 18% to 12% in January 2018. There is a further case to reduce and keep it at par with ethanol.

FSSAI has additionally launched a micro-site to monitor the progress of the collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel. Sixty-Four companies have been identified thus far at 101 locations across the length and breadth of the nation to enable collection of UCO. McDonald’s is already converting its used cooking oil to biodiesel from 100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune as of today. Bangalore based ECO Green Fuels is also currently converting approximately 1200 Tons of UCO to biodiesel annually. Another company in Delhi/NCR Biod Energy (India) Pvt Ltd has a plant that produces 100 Tons per day in

Bawal, Haryana. Kaleesuwari Refinery Pvt Ltd has a biodiesel plant and is in the process of rolling out the conversion mechanism. Further, an Austrian company has also set up a collection system in Mumbai.

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas observed world Biofuel Day Programme today. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi was the Chief Guest for its inaugural session. Speaking on the Occasion the Prime Minister said “India is bestowed with abundant resources, which are sustainable and eco-friendly options to produce biofuels. Therefore, its production and consumption should be encouraged in every way possible. The usage of biofuels has the potential to change the lives of all Indian citizens”.

Shri Sandeep Chaturvedi, President, BDAI said that the National Biofuel Policy along with FSSAI initiative and regulations is a unique combination that will generate 10,800 crore of UCO and approximately will create 80,000 direct and indirect jobs within two years. He also added that the Indian figures is very similar to its Chinese counterpart where the present total UCO discharge is about 3 million tons and the potential exports is about 1 million tons. Currently, China exports about 30-40,000 MT of UCO per month to Europe.

Shri Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said “While biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is currently very small, but a robust ecosystem for conversion and collection is rapidly growing in India and will soon reach a sizable scale. He added that there is potential to recover 220 Crore Litre by 2022. Taking another step in this direction, FSSAI wants businesses using more than 100 liters of oil for frying, to maintain a stock register and ensure that UCO is handed over to only registered to collection agencies. There is a possibility that a regulation will be developed on these lines”. Mr. Agarwal also mentioned that a RUCO mark may be developed and issued to all the complying companies for use.