Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala government is getting ready to set up an over Rs 200 crore pilot production facility of graphene, which is often referred to as a wonder material for its extraordinary electrical and electronic properties, in the state.
A cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took the decision to set up the innovative facility on a public-private partnership model at an expense of Rs 237 crore, a CMO statement said here.
The Kerala Digital University would be the implementing agency, and KINFRA has been appointed as a special purpose vehicle for infrastructure development, it said.
The digital university was given permission to prepare a preliminary proposal to avail loans from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for the project and to find private partners through a global expression of interest, it said.
According to experts, graphene is the thinnest and strongest material in the world ever known and has good chemical stability, high electrical conductivity, and a large surface area while being transparent and lightweight.
For the upcoming project, a managing committee would be formed, comprising representatives of the Industries and IT Departments and that of the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA).
The Left government had announced in its 2022-23 budget that a graphene ecosystem would be set up in the state to encourage future material technologies, the statement further said.
The India Innovation Centre for Graphene, a research and development centre set up for graphene-based technology development that was part of the proposed ecosystem, is in its initial stages, it said.
At present, a middle-level graphene production unit is being set up to produce the material, which is developed through research on an industrial basis, the CMO statement added.
Among other decisions, the cabinet also sanctioned an additional government guarantee of Rs100 crore to the Kerala State Backward Classes Development Corporation for the extensive implementation of the schemes of the National Safai Karmacharis Finance and Development Corporation, the statement added.