Maire Tecnimont Group set up state-of-the-art green biogas project at NITK

 Maire Tecnimont Group set up state-of-the-art green biogas project at NITK
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Mangaluru, March 25, 2021: Historical Indo-Italian bilateral ties took a major step ahead in entering the realm of industry-academia relationship. At the end of this relationship spectrum were the Milan based Maire Tecnimont SpA and one of India’s leading premier technical institution – NIT – Karnataka, Surathkal. Maire Tecnimont Group is a global leader in transformation of natural resources with strong commitment to industrialising green chemistry and circular economy.

The Italian global natural resource processing industry in signing a memorandum of understanding with National Institute of Technology Karnataka made its first foray outside Italy in such an agreement with any global educational institution of repute. The Group through its Indian subsidiary – Tecnimont Pvt Ltd helped set up a bio-waste recycling pilot plant at NITK campus here at an estimated cost of ₹40 lakhs under its CSR funds.

Facilitating this moment was Milind Baride, group vice-president (contract, project control, sub-contract and Indian Region) of Tecnimont SpA. Milind, a 1981 mechanical engineering branch alumnus from NITK with a team of dedicated officials from the Institute trashed out the nitty-gritty of the MoU that not only facilitated the setting up of a state-of-the-art bio-waste recycle pilot plant, but also helped set up special scholarships at NITK.

Milind Baride said the idea of doing something worthwhile for the alma-mater was mooted at the reunion of the 1981 batch in 2018. “A mother (NITK) never expects anything from her children. But it is the duty of the children (students of the 1981 batch) to facilitate the further sustenance of the mother so that she (the institute) can nurture more such children,” Baride said. The plant is the instrument that will nurture research at the institute, he avers

This shared initiative was aimed at offering new education opportunities in the energy transition sector for the next generation of Indian engineers. It is also an earnest attempt to create a small-scale renewable energy infrastructure to address the energy needs of NITK campus in a more sustainable way. The 500-kg pilot plant that can handle agricultural and food waste can generate 118 units of electricity each day, Baride explains.

What Tecnimont and NITK through this product intend to do is work towards enhancement of the tie-up that can help convert 15-20 tonnes of diversified bio-degradable waste into energy, he explains. “The plant will give an unique opportunity to students to learn about ways and means to increase the calorific value of the waste and also opportunity to convert different types of waste,” Baride said, a move that will help reduce landfills.

Vincenzo De Luca, Italian Ambassador in India who associated in the MoU signing virtually said the pilot is a reiteration of the commitment of the two nations to technology exchange and sustainable partnership aimed at fostering green economy. The Indo-Italian strategic partnership that PMs of both nations have agreed to work towards will see more Italian investment in green economy areas notwithstanding the hardships of the pandemic.

Minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan said India a net importer of energy is committed to ensuring energy justice to all its citizens. Italy is an important trade partner of India and more than 600 Italian companies are working here. India understanding the potential that compressed bio-gas will play in ensuring energy security is aiming to set up 5000 compressed bio-gas units with an annual production capacity of 15mmtpa.

Maire Tecnimont group also announced that in the setting up of its engineering excellence centre – TCMPL, it has signed an interdisciplinary centre for research – Maire Tecnimont Centre for Research on Waste Recycling and Circular Economy. Maire Tecnimont will also provide scholarships to 16 students in 2021-22 onwards for their research. The company has already sponsored two scholarships during 2020-21 at NITK.

Fabrizio Di Amato, chairman, Maire Tecnimont said, “We are honoured to further strengthen the collaboration with a prestigious institute as NITK to foster new skilled professionals and entrepreneurs in the field of green chemistry and circular economy in order to accelerate the energy transition in India. We at Maire Tecnimont strongly believe in giving back to society and empowering aspirations in education, key pillars of our sustainability strategy.”

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