Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Praj Industries Revs up Cellulosic Ethanol Plan

Published: Aug 26, 2013 06:56:29 AM IST
Updated: Aug 23, 2013 10:56:43 AM IST
Praj Industries Revs up Cellulosic Ethanol Plan
Image: Vikas Khot
Praj Executive chairman Pramod Chaudhary

After announcing last year that it would build a demonstration plant for second generation—or cellulosic —ethanol, Praj Industries has finally started its construction.

At $25 million, this will demonstrate Praj’s plant engineering and solution capability in cellulosic ethanol, made from agro-waste unlike first generation fuel that is made from food crops. With crude petroleum prices soaring, ethanol blending in fossil fuels looks attractive. But India missed its June 30 deadline for a compulsory five percent ethanol blend in petrol and diesel. This has forced technology suppliers to focus on the global market and Indian producers to refrain from investing in ethanol production. Praj says it is in talks with “strategic investors, including overseas entities and Indian government agencies, for funding under specific schemes”.  

(This story appears in the 06 September, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)