Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 30
While India achieved a blending level of 5.09% of green fuel ethanol in petrol between December 1 and June 22 during the ongoing year, some states were able to achieve much higher levels. UP, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Karnataka blended closer to the Indian target of 2021 — between 8.5% and 9.8% — according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
Of the supply contracts of 170 crore litres (between ethanol manufacturers/sugar mills and oil marketing companies) for 2019-20, as much as 92.5 crore litres have been supplied between December 1, 2019, and June 22, 2020, achieving an average all India blending of 5.09%, the sugar association said.
India has a target to achieve 10% blending of ethanol in vehicle fuel by 2021.
Despite a lesser production, Punjab and Haryana are being able to blend more ethanol because of supplies from UP, said ISMA.
Meanwhile, due to better water availability and increased acreage under sugarcane cultivation, ethanol production is expected to increase to 375-400 crore litres in 2020-21, more than double (170 crore litres) than what sugar mills and distilleries committed to supply for the ethanol blending programme (EBP) this season.
The government is hoping to achieve 7.5-8% blending levels in the season commencing from December 2020.
With a Covid air quality report showing pollution levels falling to dramatic levels in 10 major cities across the world, including Delhi and Mumbai, during the lockdown, experts have been pitching for achieving the target of 10% blending of biofuel ethanol for vehicular fuel faster.
As per the National Biofuels Policy, 2018, the Government intends to achieve ethanol blend levels of 10% by 2022 and 20% by 2030. Efforts are being made to achieve the targets with the Government giving huge importance to the EBP emphasising the need to encourage more production, especially from B-molasses and cane juice, to serve the twin purposes of achieving the target level as well as reducing more surplus sugar production, said ISMA.
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