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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Green Fuels, Aris Bioenergy form Indian JV to build out UCO biodiesel in Maharashtra

Virtual MOU signing (Photo: Green Fuels)

Gloucestershire, U.K.-based biodiesel technology company Green Fuels has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India-based Aris Bioenergy Pvt Ltd resulting in the formation of a joint-venture company, Aris Green Fuels Pvt Ltd, to produce biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO) in an industrial zone between Mumbai and Pune in the state of Maharashtra.

Under the MOU, Green Fuels will provide the biodiesel processing technology, the FuelMatic GSX20―scaled at nearly 2 MMgy―and Aris Bioenergy will leverage its large-scale network of UCO aggregation in metropolitan Mumbai.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Green Fuels, whose state-of-the-art biorefining tech will enable us to take advantage of very favorable market conditions in India, where timely government action in the form of a 5 percent blend mandate, a ban on the export of waste cooking oil and offtake price guarantees from the [state-operated] Oil Marketing Companies has, at a stroke, created demand for biodiesel and stimulated the country’s growing bioeconomy," said Umesh Waghdhare, Aris Bioenergy's chief managing director. "Current national production capacity meets just 8 percent of demand, so there is considerable scope for expansion across India."

Green Fuels CEO James Hygate said, "Green Fuels views India, which is leading the world in incentivizing biofuels production, as pivotal in its worldwide refining capacity-building program. We are proud to be exporting the post-COVID green recovery to India, and perhaps most important, building a business that will install 20 similar plants across the country and save a million [metric] tons of CO2 by 2025."

Hygate with FuelMatic GSX20 (Photo: Green Fuels)

The joint venture is currently engaged in the tendering process to supply the offtake from this and future plants to India's three state-operated OMCs.

Alan Gemmell, the U.K. trade commissioner for South Asia and the British deputy high commissioner for western India, said he is happy to support Aris Green Fuels and its mission to transform the biofuels markets in India. "Its first 20 metric-ton [per day] plant, which will be set up close to Mumbai, will be one of many across the country," Gemmell said. "With one year to go to COP26, the U.K. and India are playing leading global roles to tackle climate change and promote clean energy transition. Aris Green Fuels' innovative green-tech solution demonstrates the essential role business will play in meeting our COP26 goals."

Minister of environment for the Indian state of Maharashtra, Aaditya Thackeray, said his state is committed to building a cleaner, greener future. "Today's MOU signing between Green Fuels U.K. and Mumbai-based Aris Bioenergy is a big step in the right direction, reaffirming our commitment towards attracting green investments and projects into the state of Maharashtra," Thackeray said. "The state is working actively on implementing various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and impact on climate change and is working on implementing large-scale renewable energy projects."

Founded in 2003, the Green Fuels group intends to establish or participate in decentralized fuel production operations in key markets worldwide and further develop its intellectual property in sustainable aviation and marine fuels. In addition to its headquarters in Gloucestershire, U.K., the company has offices in London, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro.



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