Chempolis and ONGC to team up for the production of cellulosic ethanol and biochemicals from non-food biomass
Chempolis Ltd, a Finland based biorefining technology corporation today signed MoU with ONGC, India’s leading oil & gas exploration company. The MoU acts as a road, mapping the first biorefinery project in India. The signing ceremony took place in New Delhi in the presence of Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Foreign Trade Minister and Panabaka Lakshmi, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Further to the first biorefinery, Chempolis and ONGC are targeting at larger production of sustainable biofuels in India, which would reduce India’s dependence on imported petroleum.
“India has huge biomass potential and after biofuel mandate by Indian government, the country is certainly taking steps to be at the forefront of biorefining. In addition, Indian companies already have a long tradition to utilize residual biomass from agriculture, especially combustion of sugarcane bagasse and production of electricity. The country also has existing production of bioethanol and related infrastructure. Indian agriculture produces huge volumes of residues that are largely not utilized” says Pasi Rousu, President, Asia-Pacific and Americas, Chempolis Ltd.
He further added, “In co-operation with ONGC, Chempolis would be looking forward to the establishment of biorefineries preferably in areas of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. The company aims at delivering its technology in co-operation with leading Indian industry suppliers.”
Chempolis’ 3rd generation biorefining technology is based on selective fractionation of biomass and co-production of multiple products in a sustainable way. The technology is not just for the production of biofuels (e.g. ethanol), but the produced sugars and lignin can be used as a platform into a myriad of different products.
Chempolis Ltd. in Brief
Chempolis Ltd. is a technology leader delivering innovative 3G formico® biorefining technologies that provide profitable, sustainable and cost-effective solutions for the biomass, paper, oil, sugar, alcohol, and chemical industries to refine biomass into high-quality products while minimizing environmental impact and maximizing social benefits.
Chempolis’ core products are the two patented third generation technologies for biorefining of non-food biomasses: formicobio™ for the co-production of advanced biofuels, cellulosic sugars, platform biochemicals and biocoal, and formicofib™ for the co-production of papermaking fibers (i.e. pulp), platform biochemicals and biocoal. The competitive edge of Chempolis 3G biorefining technology platform is that it enables production of multiple value-added products from renewable raw materials. Chempolis technologies are self-sufficient in terms of energy, and produce no harmful effluents, CO2or sulphuric emissions. Biomass is selectively fractionated with a recyclable biosolvent while all the biomass components are processed into valuable products. In June 2013, Panabaka Lakshmi, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas and a high-level business delegation visited Chempolis Biorefining Park in Finland.
ONGC Ltd. in Brief
ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) is India’s leading oil & gas exploration company. ONGC has produced more than 600 million metric tonnes of crude oil and supplied more than 200 billion cubic metres of gas since its inception. It has a share of 77 percent in India’s crude oil production and 81 per cent in India’s natural gas production. ONGC has a fully owned subsidiary, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) that looks for exploration opportunities in other parts of the world. OVL is pursuing exploration of oil and gas in Russia, Iran, Iraq, Libya Myanmar and other countries. The origins of ONGC can be traced to the Industrial Policy Statement of 1948, which called for the development of petroleum industry in India.
In a bid to promote use of clean technologies and cut down the oil import bill, India on Tuesday signed an agreement with Finland to produce indigenous ethanol.
State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Finnish clean technology firm Chempolis will set up a pilot project to produce ethanol, bio-chemicals and bio-coal from biomass residual matters. The agreement was inked by Finnish Minister for European Affairs Alexander Stubb and India’s Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi in New Delhi.
“We have signed an MoU with a Finnish company called Chempolis. It is for conversion of cellulose into ethanol. We have developed a technology by which all cellulose-based waste products can be converted into ethanol,” ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva told reporters at an event here. “Since 75 per cent of India’s ethanol requirements are met through imports, there is a large requirement which is not being met by indigenous production,” he added. A feasibility study will soon be carried out to assess the quantity of feedstock that is required.
Finland’s Minister for European Affairs said reliability and expertise are available in his country’s stable society. The reputation for reliability and top quality offer a good springboard, he added. Finland has been repeatedly ranked at the top of international sustainable development indices, he said.
The project will utilise wheat straw which is currently being burnt and not being put to productive use. Chempolis president (Asia-Pacific-America) Pasi Rousu said the project will cost around Rs. 300 crore and is expected to be commissioned in 18-24 months’ time. Besides, India is also looking at collaboration with clean technology firm Ripasso to convert solar energy into thermal energy.