Monday, 16 July 2018

Numaligarh Refinery sets up bio-ethanol plant with Finnish, Dutch firms


State-run PSU Numaligarh Refinery Limited has taken a giant step forward by establishing a joint venture, Assam Bio-Refinery Pvt. Limited (ABRPL) with equity participation of M/s Chempolis Oy of Finland and M/s Fortum 3 B.V. of Netherland to build and operate the first of its kind Bio-Refinery in India which would generate renewable green fuel-bioethanol, other valuable chemicals and green power from bamboo biomass.
The joint venture company incorporated on 04th June 2018 has 3 partners with major equity holding of 50% by NRL, 28% by Fortum 3.B.V. Netherland and 22% by Chempolis Oy, Finland.
“NRL’s new venture shall produce 62 million litres of bio-ethanol by using around 0.5 million MT bamboo per annum which is going to be a game changer in terms of additional revenue generation for the bamboo farmers through sustainable cultivation, extraction and transportation of bamboo. It is indeed a historic moment for India’s North East to garner first major foreign direct investment for setting up its first bamboo based Biorefinery” said Mr S.K. Barua, Managing Director, NRL
Bioethanol shall be produced from bamboo as feedstock by using pioneering 3G Formicobio technology by a Finnish technology provider M/s Chempolis Oy with other valuable chemicals and bio-coal. Bio-coal will be used for the production of steam and green power to the bio-refinery.
According to a statement from NRL, the company is implementing India’s first bio-refinery in Assam at an estimated cost of Rs 950 crore which would produce bio-ethanol with co-production of furfural and acetic acid from the locally available non-food biomass feedstock. Bamboo is one of the major non-food biomass resources available abundantly in North East India and is among the fastest growing plants. 49,000 tonnes of BioEthanol produced annually would primarily be used to blend NRL petrol as mandated by the National Policy on Biofuel, with the surplus to be sold to other oil marketing companies. The company added that NRL has already inked MoUs with Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency (NBDA) and Arunachal Pradesh Bamboo Resources Development Agency (APBRDA) last year for sourcing of bamboo for the Bio-Refinery.
The government of India recently stepped up its support for the production of bio-ethanol, most prominently by means of the new bio-ethanol policy for mandatory blending of Ethanol with gasoline up to 10%. The new bio-ethanol policy aims to spur investments for setting up projects with a total production capacity of 1 billion litres of fuel ethanol every year. The policy is also aimed at cutting down the country’s significant energy import dependence as well as meet Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) committed to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
This project has a clear role in the fight against climate change. It can also have a big positive impact on local communities. It will provide employment opportunities for thousands of people and in the long run, it will help local communities from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to become self-sustainable and enhance their living standards.
– Chaitanya Kulkarni
Also published on CSRBulletin.com

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