PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for bio-refinery project in Assam

Excerpt: Fortum 3 BV, 100% subsidiary of Fortum Oyj, Finland with Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, and Chempolis, a Finnish technology company, had signed a jv for building a bio-refinery in Assam, India.

Fortum 3 BV, 100% subsidiary of Fortum Oyj, Finland with Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), an Indian state-owned oil refinery company, and Chempolis, a Finnish technology company, had signed a joint venture for building and operating a bio-refinery in Assam, India.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the presence of Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India, Mr. S.K Barua, Managing Director, NRL along with, Mr. Per Langer, Executive Vice President and Ms. Heli Antila, Vice President, Fortum Oyj and other Directors of Assam Bio Refinery Pvt. Ltd., the joint venture company, performed the ground-breaking ceremony to set up and operate a bio-refinery in Assam.

This auspicious 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 bio-refinery will be based on formico-technology developed by Chempolis. The key raw material of the bio-refinery is bamboo. The main product bio-ethanol will be sold to NRL who will blend it to petrol. In addition, bio-refinery produces other biochemical and biocoal. Biocoal will be used in CHP plant to produce heat and power to the bio-refinery. Excess power will be sold to NRL's oil refinery where it will replace fossil electricity production.

Speaking on this auspicious occasion, Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India, said, " We would like to take this opportunity to applaud the steps taken in the past years by Government of India, for improving the investor's sentiments and helping companies like Fortum to bring investment in India and also to increase the usage of bio fuels, as that solves many critical issues, like saving foreign exchange, waste management and providing domestic & clean energy sources. We are living in a world with diminishing natural resources, and we aspire to be one of the forerunners in resource efficiency. For the world's future, biomass is a valuable raw material that can be used to produce many more products of value than today. As Fortum India, increases its presence in India in partnership to building and operating a bio-refinery with NRL and Chempolis, we look to support the country in its path to sustainable development."

"For Fortum, this joint venture is part of Bio2X programme which aims at more resource efficient use of biomass. The aim is to find ways to separate and put to use all usable fractions of the biomass. This project has set a clear role in fight against climate change. The goal is also to have a positive impact on local communities as it will provide employment opportunities for thousands of people and in the long run, will help local communities to become self-sustained and enhance their living standards. We are thankful that we share this vision with NRL who are known for their highest standards and commitment towards local community and innovation," said Mr. Faizur Rehman, Head Bio2X & Legal India.

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.

PTI Press Release (

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