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Praj Industries expands technology portfolio with compressed biogas

Praj Industries Ltd, an India-headed global process solutions provider for the wastewater, ethanol and beverage industries, has recently held a ground-breaking ceremony marking the start of construction of integrated compressed biogas (CBG) demonstration plant at the Shreenath Mhaskoba Sugar Factory near Pune, State of Maharashtra. The CBG demo plant is being built adjacent to the existing cellulosic ethanol biorefinery demo facility that is operational.

On January 9, 2019, Praj Industries held a ground-breaking ceremony for compressed biogas (CBG)
demonstration plant at the Shreenath Mhaskoba Sugar Factory. The event was officiated by Dr Anil
Kakodkar (centre left), Chairman High-Level Committee and Chairman- Scientific Advisory
Committee on Hydrocarbons of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas MoP&NG) and Pramod
Chaudhari (centre right)  Executive Chairman of Praj Industries ( photo courtesy Praj Industries).

During the ceremony, which as held on January 9, 2019, Praj unveiled its roadmap for commercialisation of its compressed biogas (CBG) technology and “reaffirmed its readiness” by way of required infrastructure to execute multiple CBG plants with advanced technology and designs.

In October 2018, the Government of India released its Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) policy which envisages the implementation of 5 000 CBG plants by 2025. CBG is viewed as a complementary renewable transportation fuel to compressed natural gas (CNG).

According to Praj, its CBG technology is a major step in that direction and the demo plant will be a first-of-its-kind integrated CBG plant in the country. This flexible and highly instrumented plant will test, improve and optimise production of CBG from different feedstock such as biomass, press mud, a variety of agricultural waste and paper mill pith.

Dr Anil Kakodkar, Chairman High-Level Committee and Chairman Scientific Advisory Committee on Hydrocarbons of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) lauded Praj’s continued commitment to introduce new bioenergy technologies during his visit to the second generation biorefinery demo plant.

With the advent of 2nd gen technology, bioenergy has significant role to play in the energy mix. I particularly appreciate professionalism, engineering and safety aspects of the demo plant. I congratulate Praj for very well thought-through development approach of integrating bioethanol – a liquid fuel and CBG – a gaseous fuel as it helps capture larger value from biomass, said Dr Anil Kakodkar.

Advanced biofuel plant update

Pramod Chaudhari Executive Chairman of Praj Industries briefed participants on the progress on the execution of the first round of advanced biofuel biorefinery equipment orders by major oil marketing companies (OMCs). He informed that design engineering work is already completed and Praj has started receiving corresponding supply orders for the proprietary equipment for main plants.

Praj has always been at the forefront of introducing innovative technologies in the bioenergy space. Following the introduction of second gen ethanol biofuel, we are now inducting CBG- gaseous renewable fuel technology to the bioenergy basket. These two technologies complement each other and will play key role in India’s pursuit of energy self-reliance, while reducing carbon foot prints significantly. With introduction of CBG technology, Praj has reinforced its technology leadership and commitment towards sustainable bioeconomy, said Pramod Chaudhari.

In the meanwhile for the conventional so-called first generation ethanol business, Praj reported “enhanced traction” from existing and potential customers on the back of additional feedstocks, attractive ethanol pricing and interest subsidies on loans.

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