Finnish biorefining company Chempolis, energy group Fortum Oyj and Indian state-owned oil company Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) will build a biorefinery in the Indian state of Assam that will use bamboo as feedstock.
The companies have set up a joint venture to own the plant, where NRL holds 50%, Fortum 28% and Chempolis 22%.
The biorefinery will process 300,000 tonnes of bamboo a year, found in abundance in northeastern India, and will produce 60 million litres of bioethanol to be sold to NRL for blending into petrol. It will also produce biochemicals and biocoal, which will be used to generate heat and power for the biorefinery, with surplus power to be sold to NRL’s oil refinery.
The facility will be based on Chempolis’ formico-technology. Fortum said in a separate statement that the JV is part of its Bio2x research and development (R&D) programme which pursues more efficient biomass use by separating the biomass and exploiting all usable fractions.
Chempolis, in which Fortum owns 34%, said the project supports the Indian government’s goal of increasing local bioethanol production and reducing fossil fuel imports.