Government plans to increase Ethanol production

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New Delhi: To strengthen the financial condition of sugar mills and cut oil imports, the Government is emphasising on ethanol production. According to the reports, the Centre is planning to reduce the expenditure on oil imports by increasing the ethanol production and blending of ethanol with petrol.

According to a report published in Economic Times, an official from consumer affairs, food and public distribution ministry said, “Government plans to enhance ethanol production capacity to 9 billion litres from 3.55 billion litres in two years. The government has in-principle approved 362 new plants in sugar mills to add capacity of 5.5 billion litres which requires an investment of Rs 18,000 crore.”

This will help in meeting the government’s target of blending 10% ethanol by 2022. This will reduce the country’s import by 2 million tonnes annually reducing bill by Rs 7,000 crore.

Last year to assist sugar mills, the Indian government increased the ethanol price from C heavy molasses from Rs.43.46 per litre to Rs.43.75 per litre, and the cost of ethanol from B heavy molasses hiked from Rs.52.43 per litre to Rs.54.27 per litre. Price of ethanol from sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup route was fixed at 59.48 per litre.

As sugar mills in India have been facing issues with depressing sugar prices, surplus stocks and piling cane arrears, experts believe the production of Ethanol will aid sugar mills to improve the financial condition and to clear cane arrears.

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