NRL’s biorefinery to start producing ethanol by July-August: MD

NRL’s biorefinery is expected to start producing ethanol by July-end or the beginning of August, Managing Director Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan told PSU Watch
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NRL’s biorefinery to start producing ethanol by July-August: MDPSU Watch

New Delhi: Numaligarh Refinery Limited’s (NRL) biorefinery, which is India’s first bamboo-based refinery, is expected to start producing ethanol by July-end or the beginning of August, Managing Director Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan told PSU Watch. “We expect to start producing ethanol by July-end or the beginning of August,” said the MD. The biorefiniery is a joint venture of NRL and Finnish companies Chempolis and Fortum. It is being built at a cost of Rs 40 billion and is India’s first refinery which will use bamboo as feedstock to produce 50,000 tonnes of ethanol, 16,000 tonnes of furfural and 11000 tonnes acetic acid per annum.

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NRL biorefinery will be commissioned in eight phases: MD

Earlier, news reports had claimed that the biorefinery will be commissioned by March 2024. On being asked if there was a delay in commissioning, the NRL MD said, “No. It’s a complex technology which is being deployed in India for the first time. The commissioning is already underway since March. Two phases of the commissioning are complete. And we are positive that we will be able to produce ethanol by July-end or August.” The commissioning of the refinery is being done in eight phases, two of which are complete.

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Explainer: What is Ethanol 100, or E100 fuel? And what is its retail price?

India is the world’s third-largest consumer and importer of crude oil. It meets about 85 percent of its oil requirement through imports. To reduce this dependence on imports and to strengthen its energy security, the government has been looking to develop the market for biofuels. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, who took charge of the ministry for a second time on June 11, has listed biofuels as a priority area for the Modi government’s third tenure. The country has introduced E100 fuel, or ethanol 100, recently in March this year, and aims to increase the blending of ethanol with petrol to 20 percent by 2025.

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