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Indian ethanol co inks JV with European firm

Ethanol technology provider, Praj Industries has formed a joint venture with Aker Kvaerner to offer bio-ethanol technology solutions to the European Union countries, reports Indulal PM.

business Updated: Apr 19, 2007 18:44 IST
Indulal PM

Ethanol technology provider, Praj Industries has formed a joint venture with European engineering and construction major Aker Kvaerner to offer bio-ethanol technology solutions to the European Union countries.

As per the understanding, Praj will hold 60 per cent stake in the JV while Aker Kvaerner will hold the remaining.

The JV, which will be based in the Netherlands will offer services required for license, plant design and construction, with seamless integration and application of the technology, Pramod Chaudhari, chairman, Praj Industries told a press conference here on Thursday.

Aker Kvaerner Netherlands BV, part of the Aker Kvaerner Group, would be the legal entity entering into the proposed JV with the company.

Praj offers bio-ethanol technologies in fermentation, distillation and wastewater treatment. The company has been active in European markets for bio-ethanol technology solutions. Last year, Praj and Aker Kvaerner had entered into an alliance for strategic cooperation on bio-ethanol projects in Europe.

Chaudhary said Praj is exploring acquisition opportunities in Brazil as the demand for bio-fuels are increasing and Praj intend to tap potential markets.

"We are evaluating a couple of companies and the acquisition will be made in two-three of months," he said. Ethanol production in Brazil is poised to double by 2010.

The Brazilian acquisition is in line with Praj’s plan to enter the south American country’s bio-fuels technology, plant and equipment market where it intend to establish an operational base.

"We will be spending over $10 million for the acquisition as well as for the JV," he said.

In addition to that, the Pune-based company will be spending close to Rs 40 crore towards the capital expenditure requirements during the current fiscal.

Praj’s current order book position stands at Rs 750 crore and expects to cross Rs 10,000 crore-mark over the next three years, Chaudhary said.

The company is also planning diversify its product portfolio as it has entered into the bio-diesel technology space, he said.

"Currently, we offer in-house developed turnkey solutions including technology, engineering, plant and equipment and project management services," Chaudhary said.

A separate division has been created within the Company to promote the bio-diesel business line, he added.