Gevo and Praj Extend Renewables Cooperation
US renewables company Gevo has signed a binding construction license agreement with Indian biofuels company Praj Industries. The contract builds on prior joint development and license agreements made between the two in November 2015.
Under this latest pact, the companies aim to commercialize the production of renewable isobutanol derived from sugarcane and sugar beets. Gevo has granted a license to Praj, allowing it to provide engineering, procurement and construction services to certain third-party customers for a process design package based on Gevo’s proprietary isobutanol biocatalyst.
The companies have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commercialize Gevo’s renewable hydrocarbon products in India, including the US company’s isooctane and alcohol-to-jet fuel.
The MoU comprises two stages. In the first, Praj will set up a pilot plant in India to introduce Gevo’s technology to potential customers. In a second step, Praj and Gevo anticipate entering into a commercial license agreement to produce renewable hydrocarbons from a combination of their respective technologies.
Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s CEO, said Praj shares its vision of using renewable resources and renewable energy to decarbonize transportation fuels. “India already has a biofuel mandate primarily focused on ethanol. With Gevo’s technology and Praj’s execution, ethanol can become substituted with isobutanol and drop-in gasoline,” he commented. “
Gevo expects to leverage Praj’s Enfinity technology to produce second-generation drop-in hydrocarbons utilizing Gevo’s existing technology that has already been proven.” Gruber added.” We expect to scale up quickly and be ready for the Indian market as early as 2020.”
Praj’s executive chairman, Pramod Chaudhari, said the isobutanol technology can be offered both as a “bolt-on” to an existing ethanol plant or as a greenfield facility.
The deal will give Gevo access to markets outside of North America that use sugar-based feedstocks, particularly in India, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America and even some countries in Europe where sugar beets are processed.
In addition, and in connection with the aforementioned construction license agreement, Gevo and Praj have also signed another joint development deal as well as a new development license to continue their joint efforts to produce isobutanol using a huge variety of sugary feedstocks.
In particular, Gevo said the partners are nearing the end of work to develop a process design package to use agricultural residues, such as empty fruit bunches, wheat straw, rice straw or corn stover to produce isobutanol.
According to Gevo, these biomass feedstocks have the lowest cost in some markets as well as benefiting from a very low carbon footprint.