Pune: Sugar mills should focus on the production of alternative fuels, such as ethanol, to address issues like excess sugar production and low prices of sugar cane, said Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari.
He was speaking while addressing the 66th annual convention of the Deccan Sugar Technologist’s Association (DSTA) at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) in Pune on Saturday.
Gadkari said that the Centre is working on plans to make ‘flex’ engines for vehicles mandatory, which can run on blended fuels of petroleum and ethanol, or 100 per cent of each as well.
“The millers should focus on increasing ethanol production that will give them a good profit. India is already spending huge money on buying fuel and a hike in ethanol production would lower the expenditure on this. Farmers will also get good prices for sugar cane; the future of the sugar industry is linked to ethanol production,” he further added.
The central government with an aim to lower the expenditure on foreign exchange has set a target of blending 20 per cent ethanol with petrol by 2025. The roadmap for ethanol blending in India 2020-25 was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 5 this year on the occasion of World Environment Day.