New Delhi, Feb 3: Indian Government has been promoting the use of ethanol as a blendstock with main automotive fuel like petrol in line with the National Policy on Biofuels (NBP) -2018 under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.
Ethanol has numerous advantages that increase its potential as an alternative car fuel. Probably the most important advantage of ethanol is that it can be created through the fermentation of starch or sugars present in biomass, mainly grain crops such as corn, sugar cane and wheat, which are renewable sources. This demand for grain crops created by the ethanol industry increases crop value and offers enormous potential for economic growth in small rural communities.
The Central Govt policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030. Government has since allowed the production of ethanol from sugarcane and food grain-based raw-materials. Department of Food & Public Distribution has informed that the cost of production of ethanol varies from distillery to distillery and depends upon various factors viz. cost of raw material, conversion cost, the efficiency of distillery plants etc. Further, keeping in view the above factors, the Government has fixed the ex-mill price of ethanol from sugarcane-based raw-materials and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have fixed the price of ethanol from damaged and surplus rice with FCI for Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) (period from Dec. to Nov.) 2020-21.
The remunerative prices of ethanol produced from different feedstock have been fixed to encourage the supply of ethanol under the EBP Programme. In addition to remunerative prices, production of ethanol from various feedstock is also allowed to augment the supply of ethanol under the EBP Programme. Furthermore, Government, in order to augment production of ethanol, has notified interest subvention schemes for setting up of molasses and grain-based new distilleries or expansion of existing distilleries, setting up of dual-feed distilleries, installation of zero liquid discharge system, etc.
This information was given by the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.