Virgo, Punjab sign pact for biofuel project

Chennai: Virgo Corporation has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Punjab for a biomass-based project that is poised to transform how local farmers dispose of crop stubble.

A release stated that the project came about with assistance from the US Embassy’s Foreign Commercial Service, which identified the potential for a specific US technology to transform leftover crop stubble from Punjab’s rice paddies into biofuel, and connected the US and Indian business partners.

Following the connection made by the US Embassy, Virgo Corporation and US technology partner Honeywell signed an MOU in December 2018 to develop the project, a release said.

‘This project demonstrates how collaboration toward a common vision can bring about sustainable solutions and positive change,’ said Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster, remarking on the MOU. ‘When companies and governments come together, share resources and expertise, and develop new and innovative approaches, the potential benefits to society can be substantial.’

A release said the project will use Honeywell’s RTPTM (Rapid Thermal Processing) technology that converts crop stubble into biocrude – a renewable fuel oil that provides a sustainable, cost-effective, and virtually carbon-neutral alternative for heat and power generation in industrial applications. It also can be used in existing refineries for further co-processing into transportation fuels, such as renewable gasoline and renewable diesel, the release added.

Ambassador Juster was joined at the MoU signing by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Finance Minister Manpreet S Badal, Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion, CEO, Rajat Agarwal and representatives from Virgo Corporation and Honeywell.

NT Bureau