(EnergyAsia, October 29, Wednesday) — Donwstream oil company Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) has laid out plans to invest US$480 million by 2012 to produce biodiesel.

BPCL said it will cultivate the jatropha crop on one million hectares of wasteland in Uttar Pradesh state for use as feedstock for biodiesel. The project will be undertaken by Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd, a joint venture the state refining firm has formed with jatropha grower Nandan Biomatrix Ltd and construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji Co Ltd.

BPCL’s plan was unveiled following the central government announcement that it plans to raise India’s biofuels content in fuel to 20% by 2017.

The Uttar Pradesh state government pledged to support BPCL’s project but did not disclose financial details.

Jatropha is a non-food crop that that can be cultivated on arid, non-arable land.