Sugar mills set to hit 12 per cent ethanol blending target

India is making progress towards achieving its target of 12% ethanol blending with petrol for the current ethanol supply year (ESY). Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have already received 233 crore litres of ethanol out of the contracted 514 crore litres for ESY 2022-23, enabling them to increase blending to 11.65% compared to 10% during the same period last year.

According to an industry official, sugar crushing has almost come to an end across India, except in Tamil Nadu. Distilleries will now switch to producing ethanol from molasses, which is already stored for the off-season. Ethanol production from molasses is an achievement amid a fall in sugar production. The OMCs have contracted to purchase 374 crore litres of ethanol from sugar-based distilleries and 140 crore litres from grain-based plants.

One tonne of sugarcane yields around 70-75 litres of ethanol if processed directly from juice, while one tonne of B-Heavy Molasses produces about 320 litres of biofuel.

According to the news report published in The Hindu Business Line, sugar mills have contracted to supply 138 crore litres of ethanol made from sugarcane juice and 230 crore litres from B-heavy molasses.

The government has recently changed the ethanol year from November to October for the 2023-24 season, from December to November till now. The current transition year will run for 11 months, from December to October, and the 12% blending target has to be achieved by October 31.

India aims to achieve a 20% ethanol blending target by 2025. The government has announced various initiatives and measures to encourage the production and use of ethanol in the country, including the expansion of the ethanol supply chain, increasing the number of ethanol plants, and introducing flex-fuel vehicles.


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