India has signed a deal with a Chinese technology firm for the manufacture of biofuel and a pilot project for the use of a Chinese-made version of its gene-editing technology.
The deal, which comes as India gears up for the World Cup in Brazil, is the largest investment in biofuels in the country’s history, according to a company official who asked not to be named.
Indian government sources said the deal with China Biotechnologies (BBI) would be worth $100 million (A$144.4m).
The company, which is backed by Chinese investment bank ICICI, will supply fuel to India’s national transporter to be used at international ports.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the move would help India meet its target to produce 10 million tonnes of biofuel by 2022.BBI had earlier secured the rights to a large number of technologies, including the technology for gene-splicing.
It is developing a genetically modified version of the gene-reduction gene, called CRISPR, which can be used to control gene flow in plants.
India, one of the world’s biggest food exporters, has pledged to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to 15% by 2050, up from 8% now.
But its ambitious target is unlikely to be met, and the country has been increasingly reliant on renewable sources of energy, particularly solar and wind power.