Government to achieve 10 per cent blending percentage of ethanol in petrol by 2022 to boost farm economy: Dharmendra Pradhan

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New Delhi: Speaking at third India Energy Forum by CERAWeek in New Delhi today, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan said we aim to achieve 10 per cent blending percentage of ethanol in petrol by 2022 to cut dependence on energy import, promote the use of environment-friendly fuel and boost the agriculture sector.

Recently, the Indian government increased ethanol prices 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.

To promote the energy sustainability, the Minister said that we are giving thrust on biofuels. The new National Biofuel policy envisages an integrated approach to produce biofuels from various types of agriculture residue and municipal solid waste. Biofuel policy will help farmers to become “urjadata from anndata”. An important initiative has been undertaken to produce compressed biogas from biomass waste. We have made a target to setup 5000 compressed biogas plants in different parts of the country. These plants are being setup by private entrepreneurs. Oil marketing companies are offering assured price and offtake guarantee to procure the compressed biogas. Highlighting some difficulties being faced by these private entrepreneurs to access to bank finance for setting up CBG plants, he requested Finance Minister to look into this challenge.

Millers in India are struggling because of unsold stocks. Therefore, the government is focusing on ethanol production to strengthen the financial condition of sugar mills. Experts believe the production of ethanol will aid sugar mills to improve the financial condition as they are struggling with depressed sugar prices, surplus stocks and piling cane arrears.

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