As the BJP has expanded its presence in the northeastern states since 2014, the saffron party has repeatedly stressed that it would prioritise the region's economic development and bring it to the national mainstream.
Perhaps in keeping with these promises, the state-run Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. is set to be a key part of India's energy security efforts as it has entered into a joint venture with Finland's Chempolis valued at $200 million to crush bamboo to produce approximately 60 million litres of bio-ethanol yearly.
The amount of ethanol produced will be adequate to meet the mandatory requirements for 'blending' with gasoline for the entire northeast. More importantly, this is only a fraction of the potential market given the abundance of bamboo in the northeast.
The government is investing in various 'blending' technologies to meet its target of a 10 per cent cut in the country's oil imports by 2022 and also cut emissions. These technologies range from crop residues to waste to bamboo. Experts expect the biofuel industry in India could surge to become a market worth $15 billion by 2020.