Fortum's biorefinery project in India aims to convert bamboo into biofuel
A global joint venture of Fortum, Indian state-owned oil refinery company Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Chempolis, a Finnish biorefining technology company, had performed the ground-breaking ceremony for building and operating a bamboo based biorefinery in Assam, India.
The foundation stone for this ceremony was laid by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Saturday, February 9, 2019. This ceremony validates Fortum’s long term commitment to support India’s sustainable goals. The construction of the refinery is expected to be completed by June 2021.
As part of this venture, Fortum and Chempolis will invest in 50% equity stake, while Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) holds majority 50%. The first of its kind biorefinery will be based on formico-technology developed by Chempolis. The key raw material of the biorefinery is bamboo. The main product bio-ethanol will be sold to NRL who will blend it to petrol. In addition, biorefinery produces other biochemical and biocoal. Biocoal will be used in CHP plant to produce heat and power to the biorefinery. Excess power will be sold to NRL's oil refinery where it will replace fossil electricity production.
Fortum’s Bio2X programme investigates new business opportunities with fractioning-based technologies and end-products of the process. Fortum is currently testing several different fractioning methods. The company has also co-operation projects with different companies to test the end products of different methods. Refinery project is part of Fortum’s Bio2X research and development program.