Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) and GAIL India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a 500 KLD bioethanol plant for an estimated investment of Rs 1,000 crore in Gujarat. The agreement was signed by representatives of both companies in Gandhinagar in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, according to a state government press release, adding that the plant would produce 500 kilograms of bioethanol per day.
Bioethanol is an alternative to fossil fuel used in vehicles and a form of renewable energy that can be produced from agricultural raw materials through microbial fermentation.
This joint venture between the state-owned company GACL and the state-run natural gas transmission company GAIL will contribute to the production of alternative fossil fuels. To reduce crude oil imports and thereby save on foreign exchange, Prime Minister Modi has set himself the goal of blending 20 percent ethanol into gasoline by 2025, the press release said.
The plant will use corn or rice husks as feedstock to produce 500 KLD (kiloliters per day) of bioethanol, which will be used for blending into gasoline. As by-products, the plant will also produce 135 KTPA (kilotons per year) of high-protein feed and 16.50 KTPA of corn oil, according to the release.
The estimated project cost is Rs 1,000 crore, and it is expected to generate an annual turnover of Rs 1,500 crore, and the project would create employment for nearly 700 people.
According to the press release, the plant will help India reduce crude oil imports and save $70 million a year in foreign exchange.