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Indian biofuels tech selected for ethanol plant in South America

Praj’s $20m order to develop Riopaila Castilla’s plant in Colombia includes process plant technology for production of 400,000 daily litres of ethanol

Before winning the order, India firm Praj had installed seven ethanol plants in Colombia

An Indian biofuels provider is using its technology to develop an ethanol plant in South America. Praj Industries (Praj), the global process engineering and solutions provider for biofuels, has announced a USD 20m order for the plant from firm Riopaila Castilla SA, in Colombia.

The order includes state of the art process plant technology for the production of 400,000 litres per day of ethanol using sugar cane juice and molasses-B at the Riopaila Castilla sugar plant at La Paila in the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia.

The delivery is expected to be completed within one year. The plant will use PRAJ's cutting edge technology, including vacuum distillation and thermal integration with vinasse evaporation to use very low pressure vapour from cane juice evaporators. This is for producing ethanol with a very low production of vinasse at less than 0.7 Lit/lit of Ethanol.

With this order, Praj has retained a market share of 100 per cent in Colombia. This is the 7th ethanol plant being installed by Praj. The Colombian Ethanol programme has been one of the most successful in South, Central America (outside Brazil).  The entire programme is being supplied by plants based on Praj's ethanol technology.  Colombia’s current ethanol mandate of 10 per cent will eventually go up to 20 per cent blending.

Recently Praj has successfully commissioned a 150,000 litres per day corn-to-ethanol plant for Vicentin SAIC.  The plant located in the Santa Fe province of Argentina is one of the first new generation plants to be commissioned for fuel ethanol production in Argentina.

Vicentin's plant incorporates thermally integrated vacuum distillation and the low pressure steam enables co-generation simultaneously. This ensures lowest energy foot print for the plant. Argentina has announced a mandate to blend fuel ethanol with gasoline. Praj is partnering companies in developing projects that will make Argentina self-reliant in their energy consumption.

Indian companies are taking an interest in all areas of bioenergy this year, such as waste to energy (WtE). Earlier this month, Indian waste management company Enviro Engineers announced its plans to raise USD 200m to finance a WtE power plant for the BRIC country.