Australian algae fuel developer Algae.Tec has struck a deal with Indian industrial giant Reliance Industries that could offer an opening into the huge India market.
Algae.Tec is to build a pilot biofuels plants using its algae fuel technology as part of an agreement with a subsidiary of India’s largest privately owned company to make an initial investment of $1.5 million and a further investment of $1.2 million.
Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL) will fund the small pilot plant – which will capture Co2 emissions and turn this into algae for use as biofuels.
The pilot plant is designed to calibrate the technology for local settings and is considered a fore-runner of a larger demonstration plant, and possibly commercial plants elsewhere in India. Reliance has exclusivity over the technology in the India market.
The location of the pilot plant has not been revealed, but it is thought it will be in one of the large petroleum refineries in the massive Jamnagar complex in the state of Gujarat.
Algae.Tec managing director Peter Hatfull said the algae technology had the potential to make a significant impact on India’s energy and environmental requirements.”
“This is a major step for us. India is a perfect market place for our technology It is an absolutely gigantic market,” he said, citing the huge reliance on coal-fired generation and the demand for clean bofuels.
Algae.Tec last month announced it would also focus on the “nutraceuticals” market – estimated to be worth $205 billion globally by 2017 – as a means to establish a strong revenue base.