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Posted on  

June 12, 2002

Praj Industries To Take Up Ethanol Plant Projects In China

by Sanjay Sardana

New Delhi - Project engineering company Praj Industries is planning to enter the Chinese market to take up engineering projects for fuel ethanol plants.

The company is scouting for a local partner in China and is hoping to survive the international competition through its cost-effective technology.

The company is also extending its research activities into the field of biotechnology for value addition from agro molecules and its R&D; centre is expected to commence operations soon. Praj’s R&D; centre is also working on alternative feedstocks for ethanol production like tropical sugar beet and secondary juice.

Praj Industries is working with Swiss major, Syngenta to develop alternate feedstock wherein a special variety of sugar beet, best suited to tropical conditions is processed.

The Pune-based company has also set up India’s first Molecular Sieve Dehydration Technology (MSDH-vapour phase) fuel ethanol plant in Maharashtra for Datta SSK in technical collaboration with the world leader, Delta T of the US.

The company entered into a technical tie-up with Delta T in November last year for setting up Molecular Sieve Dehydration Technology (MSDH-vapour phase) ethanol plants. Praj Industries’ associate vice president, Abhay Chaudhari told The FE, “we are aggressively looking at the Chinese market, but are not rushing into that tough market. Instead, we are looking for a local partner for our foray into China.” In India, there has been a sudden rush to set up MSDH fuel ethnaol plants in India following the Center’s decision to introduce five per cent ethanol in petrol. As a result, there are at least 10 ethanol projects underway in India expected to begin commercial production over the next few months.

The total ethanol market in India is expected to be around 1600 million litres and almost half of the quantity is used in liquor and the balance in pharmaceuticals and chemicals. As a result of the government ruling to introduce ethanol in petrol, the overall market is expected to grow to 2000 million litres, Mr Chaudhari said.



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