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Aker Kvaerner and Praj JV for European bio-fuels market

Praj Industries Ltd. and Aker Kvaerner, today announced a significant step in the expansion of their association, confirming that they are to create a joint venture (JV), for the European market. 

Praj Industries Ltd. and Aker Kvaerner, today announced a significant step in the expansion of their association, confirming that they are to create a joint venture (JV), for the European market.  Aker Kvaerner has approved the implementation of the JV, and this consent joins the Praj Industries' Board approval (announced by Praj on 19 April 2007) wherein Praj will hold a 60 per cent share of the JV and Aker Kvaerner will hold 40 per cent. The JV will combine Aker Kvaerner's execution capabilities and extensive European market knowledge with the technological expertise of Praj.

"Praj has been active in the European market over the last two years and has made significant gains in orders in the region. Having received a good response to our technological solutions, we decided to take our commitment one step further.  We already had a strategic alliance with AK Process, which we are now extending into a JV that will bring the best of the two Companies to Europe," said Pramod Chaudhari, Chairman, Praj, India.
 
Wim van der Zande, President, AK Process, Aker Kvaerner's European Process business, said, "Care about the environment and about people is one of the core values of Aker Kvaerner. At the same time, there is also a growing market for environmentally-friendly energy technologies, which is part of Aker Kvaerner's strategic priorities. The developments in alternative energy fuels and products are essential to achieve our mutual global objectives as one of the key Aker Kvaerner businesses. Partnering in this area and using the strength of each business partner will bring the best products to the market."
 
The JV will offer European customers access to the complete scope of services required for license, plant design and construction, with seamless integration and application of the Praj technology. Praj, a global leader in bio-ethanol technology for over two decades, has been active in European markets for bio-ethanol technology solutions.  In 2006, Praj and Aker Kvaerner entered into an alliance for strategic cooperation on bio-ethanol projects in Europe.  Based on market interest in the alliance and the fact that Europe will follow a binding guideline of 10 per cent bio-fuels blending by 2020, thereby expanding the market opportunity for bio-fuel plants, the two companies have decided to extend their association by forming a JV.
 
Apart from the potential to expand new business prospects, the JV will provide greater visibility for both the Praj and Aker Kvaerner businesses in this marketplace.
 
Aker Kvaerner Netherlands BV, part of the Aker Kvaerner group, is the legal entity entering into the JV with Praj. The JV is to be located in The Netherlands.
 
As bio-ethanol is a renewable fuel derived from plants (such as cereals, sugar beet etc.) or biomass (such as wood waste), the primary environmental benefit is the reduction of CO² emissions. The use of bio-ethanol can lead to up to a 70 per cent reduction in overall CO² emissions compared to a traditional petrol only engine. Bio-ethanol used as part of the fuel, by blending with petrol, for a motor vehicle is called fuel-ethanol. Bio-ethanol can be blended in various proportions in petrol.

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