Leading IT-enabled supply chain player of solid biofuels, Biofuels Junction, is looking to expand in the paddy-rich State of Andhra Pradesh. The firm works in the value chain of solid biofuels, such as collection of agriculture residue and forestry materials, managing the steam contracts and utilities for clients.
“Currently we are in the process of building our team in Andhra Pradesh,” Ashvin Patil, Founder and Director of Biofuels Junction, told The Hindu.
Explaining about the supply chain process, he said, “Biofuels Junction works in association with local manufacturers and suppliers across Andhra Pradesh who collect agriculture residue from farmers to convert them into solid biomass briquettes and pellets, which in turn are used to generate energy in industrial boilers.”
“These environment-friendly briquettes and pellets are gaining popularity as an energy source among diverse manufacturing facilities. While Biofuels Junction aggregates all types of residues for use as feedstock, there is a great demand for paddy straw. Andhra Pradesh is often touted as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’. We see a lot of potential in the region,” said Patil.
Sugarcane trash and cotton plant residue are also aggregated from the region and used in different formats, particularly as compressed biogas.
The firm produces, aggregates and promotes sales of 15,000 tons of biomass fuel per month in India and works with 850 manufacturers and over 35,000 farmers across the country to help them utilise agri waste, which was otherwise burned by farmers. The biomass fuel is supplied to industries for use in energy generation in industrial boilers of companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Reliance, Mondelez, ITC, and CEAT. They have recently raised a seed round from Schneider Electric and Disruptors Capital.
Founded in 2018, Biofuels Junction was heavy on manufacturing till about three years ago. However, Ashvin soon realized that with agriculture residue being very light in weight, it is difficult to transport and not viable to transport beyond a distance of about 50 kilometres. Due to this, the manufacturing is concentrated or focused around the catchment area.
“As a result of which, this is a very supply chain intensive game where you have different pockets of supply which are close to the rural area. However, the biofuels usage is concentrated in industrial belts which are typically close to tier 1 tier 2 cities mostly. This is why we shifted our focus on supply chain, transformed ourselves into a satellite supply chain focus company and developed IT platform to make it scalable and efficient,” Ashvin said.