Ethanol blend­ing with petrol to dou­ble at 8%: Prad­han

The Hitavada - - BUSINESS -

ETHANOL blend­ing with petrol is likely to dou­ble to 8 per cent in the cur­rent sea­son as a bet­ter price is be­ing of­fered by oil mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies, Petroleum Minister Dhar­men­dra Prad­han said on Fri­day. The minister also as­sured ad­di­tional soft loans to mills for ex­pand­ing the ethanol ca­pac­ity.

Ad­dress­ing the 84th an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of su­gar in­dus­try body ISMA, he said the Gov­ern­ment has taken a num­ber of steps in the last four years to bring a "par­a­digm shift" in the Rs 1 lakh crore sec­tor. “Blend­ing of ethanol with petrol has reached 4 per cent from 1-1.5 per cent in the last four years. In 2018-19 su­gar year (Oc­to­ber-Septem­ber), the blend­ing level will reach 7-8 per cent,” Prad­han said. The minister said, al­though buy­ing ethanol is costly for oil mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies be­cause of hike in pro­cure­ment price, the gov­ern­ment has taken a holis­tic view to boost ethanol pro­duc­tion for farm­ers wel­fare as well as to meet our en­ergy re­quire­ments.

Prad­han said the gov­ern­ment spends Rs 8-10 lakh crore of for­eign ex­change to meet en­ergy de­mand by im­port­ing crude oil, LNG and other prod­ucts.

He said the gov­ern­ment has pro­vided soft loans to the first group of ap­pli­ca­tions for cre­at­ing ethanol ca­pac­ity and it is com­mit­ted to sanc­tion­ing loans for the sec­ond group.

In June, the gov­ern­ment ap­proved Rs 4,440 crore soft loans for build­ing ethanol pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity to ab­sorb the ex­cess cane. It will bear in­ter­est sub­ven­tion of Rs 1,332 crore over a pe­riod of five years, in­clud­ing mora­to­rium pe­riod of one year.

Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try sources, the Gov­ern­ment may pro­vide an in­ter­est sub­sidy of about Rs 1,800 crore in the sec­ond round and it may also al­low stand­alone mo­lasses-based dis­tillery.

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