Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) and GAIL India signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a 500 KLD bioethanol plant at an estimated investment of Rs 1,000 crore in Gujarat. The deal was signed by the representatives of both the companies at Gandhinagar in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, a state government release said, adding that the plant would produce 500-kilo litres of bioethanol on a daily basis.
Bioethanol is an alternative to fossil fuel used in vehicles and a form of renewable energy that can be produced from agricultural feedstocks through microbial fermentation.
This joint venture between state government-owned GACL and state-run natural gas transmission company GAIL will contribute towards the production of alternate fossil fuel. To reduce the import of crude oil and thereby save on foreign exchange, Prime Minister Modi has set a target of 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025, according to the release.
The plant will be using corn or rice husk as feedstock to produce 500 KLD (kiloliters per day) bioethanol, which will be used for blending in petrol. As by-products, the plant will also produce 135 KTPA (kilo tonnes per annum) protein-rich animal 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 opportunities for nearly 700 people.
The plant will help India reduce crude imports and save $70 million per year in foreign exchange, according to the release.