Sujay Mehdudia

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NEW DELHI: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora on Wednesday announced that the percentage of ethanol blending in fuel would be raised to 10 per cent from the present 5 per cent even as the world’s largest ethanol producer, Brazil, urged Indian companies to invest in sugarcane farming, extracting ethanol and exporting it back home for mixing in petrol.

``The Indian companies can buy ethanol manufacturing companies, invest in cane farming and producing ethanol and sending it back home,” visiting Brazilian Minister of State for Industry and Foreign Trade Miguel Jorge told newsmen soon after his meeting with Mr. Deora here.

While India mixes petrol with five per cent ethanol to cut its oil import dependence, petrol in Brazil is made up of one-fourth ethanol.

Mr. Deora declared after the meeting that the Government had plans to double the ethanol quantity in petrol to 10 per cent from October.


It is learnt that state-run oil marketing companies are already in talks with various Brazilian companies for cane farming and ethanol production, an investment that could touch around $600 million. Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation will form a joint venture to take up ethanol production in Brazil.