Praj, Tata Chemicals to jointly set up ethanol plant

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Hyderabad, Oct 22 (UNI) Praj Industries in collaboration with the Tata Chemicals Ltd will set up a fully integrated, commercial scale plant at a cost of Rs 40 crore for ethanol production exclusively from sweet sorghum at Nanded in Maharashtra.

Informing this to reporters here, Praj Industries Vice-President (Bio-fuels) Nitin Shete said the plant with capacity of 30,000 litres per day would commence production by September 2008.

The process had also envisaged a crushing capacity of 900 tonnes per day of sweet sorghum stalks.

Tata Chemicals, which had eight per cent stake in Praj Industries would cultivate sweet sorghum in about 4,000 hectares of land. The plant would generate its own power with the help of bagasse generated from the milling section.

Besides Tata Chemicals, other clients in the South, including Sagar Sugars, Chitoor, were also cultivating sweet sorghum and were processing it for ethanol production successfully in their existing distillery, he said.

Praj had accelerated the process of adoption of sweet sorghum to ethanol with extensive field trials in different parts of the world including various regions of India, South East Asia, Americas and Africa, he said, adding that these trials had enabled Praj to offer custom designed plants that could deliver optimized results.

''Praj has been excited about sweet sorghum because it has the characteristics of grain sorghum and sugarcane, wherein the stalk contains sugar (non-crystalline) which can be converted into ethanol,'' he said.

''The leaves are consumed by cattle and its grain is a staple food (jowar) in many regions. The potential of sweet sorghum as fuel, food and fodder has led to Praj investing in developing it at every stage. Sweet sorghum is like a bridge between the first generation biofuels and the second generation of biofuels,'' he added.

UNI

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