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Pune firm uses tech leap to leverage ethanol wave

The Centre’s push for ethanol and the sugar industry’s warm welcome to it has seen many engineering firms also riding the wave. Pune-based Regreen Excel Private Limited is one such company which has been riding this wave, transforming itself from a consultancy firm to a turn-key operator for ethanol plants.

Sanjay Desai, chairman and managing director of the company, claimed that their e-max technology has allowed them to get a price edge over other players, thus ensuring more projects come their way.

Since 2014, the central government has been pushing for increased ethanol blending with fuel. The government has, in fact, pushed forward the 20 per cent blending target to 2023. Given the price advantage of production of ethanol from cane juice or sugar juice, many mills have started diverting substantial amount of sugar production to produce the fuel additive. For the 2020-21 season, the country had seen production of 302.2 crore liters of ethanol and the blending percentage achieved was 8.1 per cent.

This push for ethanol, Desai said, has seen many of the mills going for both brownfield and greenfield plants. Since 2016, the company has executed and commissioned 95 plants in the country. Balrampur Chini, Ugar Sugar Works are some of the major consumers the company has catered to.

Demand, Desai added, comes from both new consumers as well as the existing ones who go for expansion. Most customers are from the private mills while some from the cooperative ones are also sending in inquiries now.

Desai said the e-max technology has allowed his company to capture 50 percent of the current ethanol set-up in the country. Along with the sugar industry, the company has also commissioned grain-based plants in states which use maize and broken rice for production of the feedstock to produce the fuel additive.

“Our technology has caught the eyes of the industry given the fact that it can be used for different feedstock and results in substantial saving in terms of energy,” he said.

The last fiscal saw the company reporting a turnover of Rs 750 crore and this fiscal the firm is on course to cross the Rs 1,000 crore benchmark in turnover.

Talking about projects in the pipeline, Desai said they have 25 proposed plants which they would deliver in the next two years.