SAIL Targets Establishment of India's First Gas-To-Ethanol Plant in Chandrapur
SAIL Targets Establishment of India's First Gas-To-Ethanol Plant in Chandrapur

SAIL Targets Establishment of India's First Gas-To-Ethanol Plant in Chandrapur

  • 25-Jan-2021 10:00 AM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

India’s largest steel manufacturing firm, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is planning to set up the country’s first gas-to-Ethanol plant at its ferro alloy unit in Chandrapur, Maharashtra. As per the officials, Steel Research & Technology Mission of India (SRTMI), a joint initiative of the steel ministry and domestic steel players dedicated towards research and development (R&D) in the iron and steel sector would aid SAIL in setting up the gas-to-Ethanol unit.

The Director of SRTMI revealed in one of his statements that the key focus of the plan is to align with the government's aim of reducing India’s import dependence for crude oil and simultaneously address the issue of carbon emissions. The estimated cost of the project is around INR 4 billion, 20 per cent of which will be funded by the government under the National Policy on BioFuels, 2018.

"This would be the fourth such plant in the world in the steel sector and overall, the first in India. As of now the bio-ethanol fuel generation technology is being used at two plants in China and one at ArcelorMittal's plant in Belgium," the personnel stated in an interview.

The technology of the plant would be based on capturing hot gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen emitted from the arc furnace of the ferro alloy plant and convert them into ethanol via fermentation technology. As per the company officials, the plant would be capable of producing up to 50,000 litre per day of Ethanol from about 10,000 normal meter cube (nmc) per hour gas released from the Chandrapur plant.

Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) is the country’s largest steel-manufacturing company, having an installed capacity of about 21 million tonne per annum (MTPA). SAIL’s Chandrapur Ferro Alloy Plant (CFP) is the only public sector unit (PSU) of India producing manganese based ferro alloys. The plant has an installed capacity of 100 KTPA (kilo tonnes per annum) ferro manganese. The product range of CFP includes Silico Manganese, High Carbon Ferro Manganese and Medium or Low Carbon Ferro Manganese. 

As per ChemAnalyst,” The new plant would enable India to actualize its vision of achieving 20% Ethanol-blending target with gasoline by 2025, thereby reducing its crude import bill. Last week, the Indian government had revised its 20% Ethanol-blending plan, from 2030 to 2025, five years before its previously set target. Moreover, the cabinet has also recently announced a scheme to attract about INR 400 billion in private investment to promote India’s Ethanol production capacity from sugar and grains. With strong government initiatives, the production as well as consumption of Ethanol is expected to increase remarkably in India, the world’s third largest fuel consumer.”

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