5% ethanol-blended petrol by Septem­ber, says Prad­han

Resource Digest - - CONTENT -

Pub­lic sec­tor oil mar­ket­ing firms will pro­cure 120 crore litres of ethanol to reach the tar­get of 5 per cent blend­ing for petrol by Septem­ber 2016, which is the end of the crop year 2015-16.

“Last year, we pro­cured about 67 crore litres. But this year we will get 120 crore litres and maybe even higher. This would help in about 5 per cent blend­ing for petrol. For sev­eral years we were stuck at 1-2 per cent but this year we will achieve the tar­get,” said Dhar­men­dra Prad­han, Min­is­ter of State (In­de­pen­dent Charge) for Pe­tro­leum and Nat­u­ral Gas, af­ter in­au­gu­rat­ing a na­tional sem­i­nar on ethanol.

Prad­han said that in States such as Ut­tar Pradesh, the blend­ing lev­els can go up to 10 per cent which would ben­e­fit the farm­ers.

“PSUS are in the process of in­creas­ing the stor­age ca­pac­ity for ethanol. This year we have also started procur­ing bio-diesel. Out of 85 crore litres that was ten­dered for pro­cure­ment, 4 crore litres have come in al­ready. In the next step, we want farm­ers to pro­duce ethanol from dif­fer­ent feed­stock like wheat straw, rice straw, corn straw and oth­ers,” Prad­han said.

Cur­rently, the pro­duc­tion cost of ethanol is Rs. 42 a litre. Asked whether at cur­rent crude oil prices ethanol blend­ing makes sense, Prad­han said, “The Govern­ment pol­icy can’t be set on spot prices. Tech­nol­ogy drives prices down and we will see the same here.”

Af­ter dis­cus­sions with the Au­to­mo­tive Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia, it has been found that blend­ing can be raised till 15-20 per cent for both ethanol in petrol and bio-diesel in reg­u­lar diesel with­out a ma­jor change in ex­ist­ing car en­gines, Prad­han said.

“For agri­cul­tural wa­ter pumps, the blend­ing can even be 100 per cent of bio-diesel,” he added.

The Min­is­ter said that In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency es­ti­mates In­dia’s crude oil im­ports to rise to 550 mil­lion tonnes by 2040 and in­creas­ing use of bio-fu­els will help re­duce de­pen­dence on im­ports as well as ben­e­fit the farm­ers.

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