October 11, 2007 (Biofuel Review) Indian company Naturol Bioenergy Limited announced yesterday (10th October) that it will soon start production from its biodiesel facility at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. The facility has an annual production capacity of 100,000 tons of biodiesel and 10,000 tons of pharmaceutical grade glycerin. The company has invested a total of Rs 1.4bn ($35.6m), financed by equity investments from venture capital investors and term loans from banks and financial institutions. Naturol’s primary feedstock is crude palm oil, however, its biodiesel facility has a unique characteristic which, says the company, allows it to replace part of the feedstock with multiple grades of vegetable oils including fatty acid oils, reducing the cost of production.
Naturol has entered into long-term agreements with petroleum intermediaries for export to USA and EU countries. It is currently importing feedstock from Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa, the company plans to develop local feedstock through contract farming of Jatropha.
Speaking at the launch Mr. Bhaskar Chalasani MD & CEO said; “While the biodiesel technology and equipment were supplied by De Smet Ballestra Group of Belgium, the entire engineering design, procurement and erection of the plant was done by Naturol’s in-house project team. ”
He continued; “Naturol has the world’s first and largest industrial scale acid esterification section enabling usage of fatty acids which is integrated seamlessly with other process centers and also has the ability to convert crude glycerin into Pharmaceutical grade glycerin. Naturol has also invested in creating the required infrastructure to scale upto 5 times and is actively planning a foray into value added products such as surfactants from renewable sources.”
The company said it aims to sustain its lead in the renewable industry for which it has begun a multi-pronged growth strategy involving capacity scale-up, product diversification and backward integration. “Naturol intends to raise funds in order to execute its expansion plans, the envisaged investment towards these projects is about USD 100 million which would be met by way of equity and debt (50 per cent each) ” revealed Mr. Bhaskar.