IOC selects Praj as tech partner for ethanol plant
Initially, IOC will be setting up three-such 2G bio-ethanol plants. These plants make use of feed other than molasses (a by-product of sugarcane) to convert into ethanol
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pune-based Praj Industries for providing technology support to various second generation ethanol plants that it plans to set up.
Initially, IOC will be setting up three-such 2G bio-ethanol plants. These plants make use of feed other than molasses (a by-product of sugarcane) to convert into ethanol.
Indian Oil, like other public sector oil marketing companies, is blending biofuels in transportation fuels to bring down dependency on crude oil imports and “to avail of the resultant economic and environmental benefits.” Given the high cost of setting up these plants, the government has directed the three oil marketing companies – IOC, HPCL and BPCL – to set up the initial few plants.
Prime Minister NarendraModi has envisaged that India should bring down its oil imports by 10% by the year 2022. Yearly growth of fuel consumption in India is in the range of 6-7% and crude oil import has a big impact on the country’s current account deficit.
In order to achieve this, a suitable blending fuel has to be found to mix with petrol, diesel and CNG. Ethanol, experts believe is an answer to this and blending to the extent of 20% of the total fuel, over a period of time, has been spoken about in various policy circles.
Currently, the country is barely achieving about 4% of ethanol blending with petrol – a gain considering that the programme nearly lay in limbo for close to 10 years till 2014.
“We have prepared ourselves to execute 2G ethanol projects over Rs 3,000 crore in two-three years,” said PramodChaudhari, executive chairman, Praj Industries.
Praj or IOC did not specify the exact financial worth of the current partnership. Praj, however, said it will also supply plant & machinery and assist in operating and maintaining it.