India deal launches Australian firm’s global biofuels division

India deal launches Australian firm’s global biofuels division

Australian biofuel developer, Algae.Tec will join forces with India’s largest private sector enterprise, Reliance Industries, to take its innovative technology to the market.

Western Australia-based Algae.Tec has partnered with Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), a subsidiary of the Reliance Group, to build a pilot biofuels plant using its algae fuel technology. RIIHL will make an initial investment of A$1.5 million with an additional A$1.2 million to follow.

The plant is designed to tailor the technology for local settings and produce two barrels of biofuel a day in the pilot phase. The partners will work together towards commercialisation, with Reliance having exclusivity of the technology in India. The companies plan to take the technology to other parts of Asia to help meet the growing demand for biofuels.

According to Bloomberg News, India is aiming for 20 per cent of its fuel to come from clean sources by 2017.

Algae.Tec Managing Director Peter Hatfull told RenewEconomy that the algae technology had the potential to make a significant impact on India’s energy and environmental requirements.

‘India is a perfect market place for our technology. It is an absolutely gigantic market,” he told the magazine.

Talking about the partnership agreement Mr Hatfull said, ‘This is a very exciting step forward. This level of financial backing and ongoing support is just what Algae.Tec needed.

‘It’s a fact of business life that emerging companies need funding injections and the technical grunt of this type to transition into the commercial phase,’ he said.

Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Nicola Watkinson said, ‘As Indian companies continue to drive innovation programs to improve their competitiveness at home and abroad, they are considering Australian businesses and research institutions for mutually beneficial partnership opportunities.

‘They are on the lookout for joint research projects, or to develop and commercialise new technologies, and products and services,’ she said.

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