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In Focus: Biofuel Catalyst

Demand for alternative fuels like ethanol to keep Praj Industries' order book strong

With crude prices touching new highs every other day, oil importing countries like India are now mulling bio fuels as an alternative.

The focus has shifted to ethanol as a potential source of fuel. Praj Industries is one of the few companies providing end-to-end solutions for setting up ethanol distilleries and holds 75 per cent market share in India. Praj Industries deals in technology, plant and equipment for ethanol fuel and alcohol.

The government's move for introducing ethanol in petrol too has created an opportunity for setting up plants for dehydration (fuel ethanol) for existing distilleries and to create new capacities.

Ethanol's possibilities have generated much interest among the sugar companies in India to ramp up distillation capacity, Praj Industries is all set to play a crucial role in the story.

On the export front too, Praj Industries has been able to successfully compete against international players. The company has secured orders in the EU, the US, Thailand, Australia, Africa, and Columbia. As demand for machinery shoots, the company is poised for a major role in large markets like the US and Europe. In June, the company bagged orders worth over Rs 92 crore ($20 million) from US-based Cilion Group for supplying technology and machinery for two of their plants.

Recently, the company has acquired 100 per cent stake in CJ Schneider Engineering, a US-based company, for Rs 22.5 crore. It is also focussing on research on technologies for alternative biofuels other than ethanol. The company is planning to spend Rs 39 crore on capacity addition.

Apart for machinery, Praj Industries is also getting orders for designing and supply of technologies. The company is likely to see revenue growth of 62 per cent in the coming years.