Government encouraging ethanol production

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Kanpur: National Sugar Institute, Kanpur organized a national webinar on a very important topic “A step Ahead Toward a Future fuel” today in collaboration with Indian Sugar Mills Association. Inaugurating the webinar, Shri Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary (Food & Public Distribution), Government of India stressed upon reducing dependence on imported crude oil. Indian Govt. has chalked out the EBP program in a phased manner i.e., by 2022 the blending target is 10% and by 2030 it is to be raised to 20%. In order to achieve the goal of EBP10 and subsequently of EBP 20, there is need for adding ethanol capacities and developing alternate feed stocks. The potential of maize abundance availability can be harnessed for ethanol production which will help the farmers in getting good rates of their produce, he added.

Shri Subodh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Sugar), Government of India in his address informed that in order to boost ethanol availability during the last one year or so, 362 proposals for a loan amount of over 18,000 crores have been approved which may result in adding about 600 crore litre ethanol capacity per annum. Prof. Narendra Mohan, Director, National Sugar Institute suggested that without inviting “Food vs Fuel” debate, surplus grains viz. rice and maize can be used for production of ethanol. With rice and maize, it is possible to attain average ethanol yields of 450 liter/ton and 380 liters/ton with a valuable by-product, Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS) to be used as cattle feed. Since only a limited quantity of ethanol can be produced using molasses from sugar industry, development of alternate feed stocks like surplus grain, sweet potato, sugar beet, sweet sorghum and cassava is important.

Shri Vivek Pittie, President, Indian Sugar Mills Association while appreciating the efforts made by the government in encouraging ethanol production suggested that for using feed stocks other than molasses, the distilleries are to be converted into “Dual Feed Stock Based Distilleries” and thus government may consider grant of financial assistance besides ensuring good prices of the ethanol made from such feed stocks. Dr. Sujay Rakshit, Director, Indian Institute of Maize Research, Ludhiana made a presentation on availability of maize in different regions of the country and suggested construction of ethanol units based on availability of a particular feed stock in the region.

Shri Atul Mulay, President, M/s Praj Industries, Pune and Shri Sanjay Desai, Managing Director, M/s Excel Industries, Pune made presentations on conversion of existing molasses based distilleries into “Dual Feed Stock Based Distilleries” working on molasses and grains. Technology is not a barrier but the project cost of such distilleries shall be higher by around 20-25% to those of molasses based distilleries, they said. Dr. (Mrs) Seema Paroha, Prof. Biochemistry, National Sugar Institute also made a presentation about potential feed stocks which can be used for ethanol production. Use of such alternate feed stock shall help in improving the capacity utilization of the ethanol units and hence better economic sustainability of these units also, she said.

 

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