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Aker Kvaerner and Praj win contract for world-scale bioethanol project in the UK


Aker Kvaerner has been selected by BP, Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) and DuPont to execute the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for a planned new world-scale bioethanol plant in the UK. Aker Kvaerner’s joint venture partner Praj Industries (Praj) from India will provide the technology and process package. BP and ABF subsidiary British Sugar Plc will each own 45 percent of the new grass roots facility planned for BP’s Saltend site, near Hull, with DuPont owning the remaining 10 percent. The world-scale wheat to ethanol plant will produce some 420 million litres of fuel ethanol a year. The contract value to Aker Kvaerner is not disclosed.

“BP is already a leading and very committed player in the biofuels market, and we see this new facility as a very important milestone as we move towards the 2010 Renewable Fuel Obligation,” says Phil New, Head of BP Biofuels. “Aker Kvaerner’s engineering capability combined with the technology expertise of Praj offers an integrated and customised solution to our requirements.”

“This is a very exciting project to be involved with. It represents a significant development in the UK’s progress in renewable fuels, and brings together specialists who are at the forefront of the biofuels industry,” adds Ronald van der Vlist, SVP Aker Kvaerner-Praj Biofuels (Managing Director of BioCnergy). “A commitment to delivering environmentally-sound solutions is a long-term priority for Aker Kvaerner, and biofuels is therefore a core business for the company.”

Using bioethanol technology provided by Praj Industries, the grass roots plant will seek to utilise locally grown wheat as feedstock to produce the fuel ethanol. The award of this project underlines the co-operation between Aker Kvaerner and Praj, which was recently reinforced by the formation of the BioCnergy Joint Venture (JV) - announced 12 June 2007.

“This is indeed a very good start for the Aker Kvaerner and Praj JV in Europe and this is a very distinguished opportunity for Praj to supply technology to one of the largest plants to be set up in the UK,” said Pramod Chaudhari, Chairman Praj Industries.

“The Aker Kvaerner and Praj JV will ensure better value to customer’s setting up biofuel projects, as we will work in absolute cohesion, end-to-end. And the award of this contract demonstrates that project developers and sponsors have recognized our strength.”

Work on this preparatory phase of the project begins immediately and should be completed by the end of 2007. Subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, construction on the plant would commence next year, with commissioning and start-up scheduled for late 2009.

The award of the FEED scope follows the successful completion of the feasibility study for this complex, which was completed by Aker Kvaerner and Praj in December 2006.

Aker Kvaerner has been a long term engineering partner for BP at the Hull site - the largest producer of acetic acid in Europe - and has executed a range of EPC projects at this site and also at other BP sites worldwide. Aker Kvaerner is also a long-standing engineering partner for DuPont globally. Praj is currently providing the process license to the British Sugar Wissington bioethanol plant in the UK.

Biofuels help to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases and are a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Bioethanol can be blended in various proportions in petrol. Using bioethanol can reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions compared to a traditional petrol-only engine.


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