Assam based refinery signs deal with foreign firms to create biofuel from bamboo

The joint venture agreement to form, 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 and NRL, was signed recently in New Delhi

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New Delhi: In the recent times, the Indian government has stepped up its support for production of bio-ethanol, most prominently by means of the new bio-ethanol policy for mandatory blending of ethanol with gasoline upto 10 percent. The new bio-ethanol policy is aimed to increase investments for setting up projects with a total production capacity of 1 billion litres of fuel ethanol every year.

As an example of accelerating the efforts towards achieving the above, the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) of Assam has established a joint venture with two companies from Finland and Netherlands 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.

Bioethanol shall be produced from bamboo as feedstock by using pioneering 3G Formicobio technology by the Finnish technology provider M/s Chempolis Oy with other valuable chemicals and bio-coal. Bio-coal will be used for production of steam and green power to the bio-refinery.

The joint venture agreement to form, 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 and NRL, was signed recently in New Delhi.

The agreement was signed by Mr S K Barua, MD, NRL; Mr Sanjay Aggarwal, authorized representative of Fortum 3 B.V. and the CEO Chempolis Oy, Finland, Tomi Honkala in the presence of officials from all the partner companies. The joint venture company incorporated on June 4 last has 3 partners with major equity holding of 50% by NRL , 28% by Fortum 3.B.V. Netherland and 22 per cent by Chempolis Oy, Finland.

The new venture will 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.

This is for the first time that any North Eastern state in India has been able to garner such foreign direct investment for setting up its first bamboo based biorefinery.