Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) today said it has signed a pact with Lurgi for roping it in as the technology partner for its Rs 55,000 crore Coal to Liquid (CTL) project, but will not offer any equity to the German firm.

“We have entered into a MoU with Lurgi of Germany for CTL technology but without any investment participation from Lurgi in the project,” V R Sharma, Deputy Managing Director and CEO (Steel Business), JSPL said.

The Frankfurt-based Lurgi is an engineering firm with hi-tech expertise in the entire process chain of CTL projects.

It also has a wholly-owned subsidiary in India — Lurgi India Company.

JSPL’s subsidiary, Jindal Synfuels, would develop the project in Odisha’s Angul district at a total cost of Rs 55,000 crore, Sharma said.

Naveen Jindal-led JSPL had earlier said it envisaged of producing 80,000 barrels of liquid petroleum products from the proposed CTL project.

Sharma, however, said the product basket from the project would be a purely techno-commercial decision which is yet to be taken.

“Using Lurgi’s technology, three products can be produced — methanol, gasoline and high-speed diesel. The technology produces any of the three or all the three. It is very difficult to say, as of today, which will be the product,” he said.

Sharma said for other products such as methanol, JSPL is looking for technology partners from the US and Europe, other than Lurgi.

“However, there is no talks going on with the any of the Chinese companies,” he said though admitting that the neighbouring country has also developed technology for CTL project.

JSPL has already been allocated a coal mine for the project. The company expects to get the prospecting licence soon. The coal from the mine would be used as raw material for the project.

Sharma said JSPL did not tie-up with South Africa’s Sasol because the technology provided by the firm can’t absorb high-ash coal which is in abundance in India. Meanwhile, Tatas have inked a joint venture agreement with it for a CTL project.

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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