Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reliance , HPCL renew interest in Bihar Sugar Mills

PATNA: Notwithstanding the Centre's directive prohibiting production of ethanol from sugarcane juice, Reliance Industries Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd have renewed their interest in taking over three state-controlled sick sugar factories in Bihar.

Both RIL and HPCL deposited 10 per cen of the bid amount for the three sick sugar factories, official sources confirmed.

While the RIL deposited Rs 5.70 crore with the state government for the take-over of the Motipur unit in Muzaffarpur district, the HPCL paid Rs 4.5 crore and Rs 5 crore for Lauriya and Sugauli sugar mills respectively.

RIL has emerged as the highest bidder at Rs 57 crore for the take-over of the Motipur unit. Similarly, the HPCL emerged the highest bidder at Rs 45 crore for Lauriya unit and Rs 50 crore for Sugauli sugar mills in East Champaran district, sources said.

The Centre's no to production of ethanol from sugarcane juice had earlier dealt a severe blow to Bihar government's plan to develop the state as an ethanol hub losing five investment proposals worth around Rs 14,000 crore for setting up new sugarcane juice-to-ethanol manufacturing units.

The Centre's opinion was made known through insertion of explanation (3) in clause 3 (sub-clause) in the Sugarcane (Control) Amendment Order, 2007 of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution that came into effect from December 28 had prevented Bihar from going ahead with the ethanol project, the sources said.