Pune: Praj Industries pioneers production of Polylactic Acid (PLA) for bioplastics at demo plant in Jejuri

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Pune, 22nd February 2023: Praj Industries’ Founder Chairman Dr. Pramod Chaudhari interacted with the media to apprise them about the company’s various initiatives on business growth and social commitment. This press briefing commemorates Praj’s entry into the Ruby year (40th Year) of its journey. Also present on this occasion were Shishir Joshipura, MD & CEO and Raole, CFO & Director (Resources).

Emphasizing the importance of sustainable development, Dr. Chaudhari underlined the dire need to combat evils of climate change. He cited that the insurance industry’s losses fueled by climate change are now regularly exceeding $100 billion a year. He stressed that bioeconomy has emerged as one of the most promising sustainable climate actions. He also shared progress on a number of initiatives Praj has been taking in bioeconomy to propagate Renewable Chemicals and Materials as well as biofuels.

In the pursuit of a low carbon economy, Praj is developing sustainable solutions in the form of Renewable Chemicals and Materials (RCM). To curb evils of plastic menace and to support government of India’s single use ban on plastic Praj has developed technology to produce bioplastics i.e. Polylactic Acid (PLA) as part of its Bio-PrismTM portfolio. To accelerate commercialization of bioplastics, Praj is setting up a first of its kind demo plant for Polylactic Acid (PLA) at Jejuri in Pune district of Maharashtra. This pilot facility will be used for scaled production of Food Grade Lactic Acid and Polylactic Acid.

While ethanol blending in petrol is already established as a strong solution to decarbonize surface transportation, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) is an emerging solution for cleaner skies. Earlier, Praj had developed technology with US based GEVO Inc. and had entered into MoU with IOCL for production of SAF. Recently in an MoU with Axens of France for building SAF projects, Praj is developing a resilient industry ecosystem to capitalize promising opportunities in SAF.

To address the growing opportunity basket from the Energy Transition and Climate Actions (ETCA) agenda, Praj is setting up a modern manufacturing facility to be housed into a new subsidiary. The new facility will be set up near a major port with an investment of Rs. 100 crores. The existing Kandla facility will continue to serve the current market of Oil & Gas and Fertilizers while the new facility will be dedicated to opportunities from the ETCA segment.

To build on the rich legacy of four decades of leadership in global bioeconomy and to secure new opportunities ushering on the horizon, Praj has launched a comprehensive Transformation program. BAIN & Co, a top tier management consulting firm has been roped in to develop strategic blueprint to ensure sustainable growth in the coming decade, to strengthen Praj’s global leadership in bioeconomy

As part of its social commitments, Praj has undertaken a project to create a model Net Zero and Climate Resilient village at Mandede in Mulshi taluka near Pune. Praj has engaged Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, for validation.

Talking about all these developments, Dr. Pramod Chaudhari said, “We have unprecedented business opportunities ahead on the back of rising awareness about climate change and strong global mandates. We believe we are in a good position to capitalize these, given our unique business philosophy of R&D to D&D i.e. design & deployment and formidable track record. We are also gearing up for the next phase of growth by making strategic investments to enhance our delivery capabilities.”

Founded in 1983 as an agri processing venture to facilitate inclusive growth of the farming community, Praj is credited with one of the most successful IPO in 1993. With introduction of biofuels as swadeshi indhan in 2003, Praj strode into the biofuels industry to propagate positive socio-economic-environmental impacts globally. The Biofuels industry in India started gaining momentum around 2013 and has achieved ethanol blending in excess of 11% by early 2023. (5) In the past 4 decades, Praj has over 1000 customer references in more than 100 countries across all 5 continents.