ONGC and Chempolis to set up a pilot project

India, on Tuesday, signed an agreement with Finland to produce indigenous ethanol to promote use of clean technologies and cut down the oil import bill.

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 Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi here.

“We have signed a 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 were available in his country’s stable society. The reputation for reliability and top quality offered a good springboard, he added. The project will utilise wheat straw, which is now being burnt and not being put to productive use. Chempolis President (Asia-Pacific-America) Pasi Rousu said the project would cost Rs.300 crore. The project was expected to be commissioned in 18-24 months.

More In: Business