‘India to triple ethanol production by 2022’

The Centre has planned 12 biofuel refineries at an investment of ₹10,000 crore.   | Photo Credit: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

India will triple its ethanol production over the next four years till 2022 and this will save ₹12,000 crore in the country’s oil import bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, which is being celebrated as World Biofuels Day.

The Prime Minister also blamed the previous government for not encouraging the production and adoption of ethanol, saying his government has planned 12 biofuel refineries in the country at an investment of ₹10,000 crore. “The ethanol blending programme was started during the Vajpayee government,” Mr. Modi said. “But previous governments did not take the ethanol programme seriously. Now we will produce 450 crore litres of ethanol in the next four years from the existing 141 crore litres. This will result in an import savings of ₹12,000 crore.” The government will achieve 10% ethanol blending in petrol by 2022 and is aiming to double it to 20%,” Mr. Modi added.

However, the government’s biofuel policy has come under some criticism, with Kalikesh Singh Deo, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas saying the policy itself needs revisiting.

“On the occasion of World Biofuels Day, the government needs to revisit its recently announced biofuels policy,” Mr. Deo said in a note.

‘Abysmal levels’

“India needs to adopt a holistic approach to meet the consistent targets of ethanol blending, which this government has been maintaining at abysmal levels (2% currently as per the policy document itself),” Mr. Deo said in a note.

“The Union Government is highlighting the fact that it is investing significantly in the effort to transform biomass to biofuel,” Mr. Deo added. “There is a plan to set up 12 modern refineries for generating advanced biofuel. The plans announced by the government have been repeated in one form or other since 2014, with little or no success,” he added.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 2:01:03 PM |

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