Ethanol blending target: Work in progress to expedite setting up of ethanol units

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Kanpur: A webinar on the topic “Standardization of Ethanol Plant Capacities and Models of Sugar Diversion” was jointly organized by National Sugar Institute, Kanpur and South Indian Sugarcane and Sugar Technologists Association today which was attended by large no. of delegates from various sugar producing states.

Inaugurating the Webinar, Shri Subodh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Sugar & Administration), Government of India informed that India’s net import of petroleum was 185 Mt at a cost of US $ 551 billion in 2020-21. Keeping in view the fact that about 98% of the fuel requirement in the road transportation sector is currently met by fossil fuels and the remaining only 2% by biofuels, a successful E20 program can save the country a substantial amount, he said. We are in pursuit of achieving 20% blending of ethanol in petrol by 2025 and thus many policy interventions have been made for expediting the setting up of ethanol units. The current ethanol production capacity in India of 426 crore litres derived from molasses-based distilleries and 258 cr. litres from grain based distilleries is proposed to be expanded to 760 cr. litres and 740 cr. litres respectively in couple of years. This would be sufficient to produce 1016 cr. litres of ethanol required for ethanol blending in petrol and 334 crore litres for other uses by 2025.

Shri Narendra Mohan, Director, National Sugar Institute in his address emphasized upon standardizing the capacities and configuration of plant and machinery to higher productivity, lower cost of production, reducing the project cost and project completion time. He presented various business models for producing ethanol from sugarcane-based raw materials viz. C & B heavy molasses, sugarcane juice / sugar / sugar syrup and also from Rice, Maize and through other feed stocks. We have already achieved all time high blending % of over 7.5 during the current Ethanol Supply Year and expected to achieve 8.0% as a whole for the year. However, we have to look for round the year operations of ethanol plants using multiple feed stocks as per availability and economics.

Shri Chinnapan N, Vice President, South Indian Sugarcane and Sugar Technologists Association in his address opined that biofuels like Ethanol besides saving foreign exchange and economic sustainability to sugar industry can also help to generate employment, promote Make in India, Swachh Bharat, doubling of farmers’ incomes and converting Waste to Wealth.

During the webinar Shri Sanjay Desai, Managing Director, M/s Excel Industries made presentation on selection of plant & machinery to make ethanol unit workable on different feed stocks. Initially, such unit may cost more, may be by 25-35% but then you are sure of operating it on cane juice, syrup, molasses or grains, thus, providing greater flexibility he said. Shri Sandeep Chichbankar, Managing Director, M/s Covalent Engineering & Projects Pvt. Ltd. discussed details of various factors to be considered while selecting plant & machinery for reducing project cost and workability of various feed stocks without compromising on efficiency.
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