Sugar mills are expanding existing capacity or adding new facilities for ethanol production, said Aditya Jhunjhunwala, president of Indian Sugar Mills’ Association.
The installed capacity with sugar mills for ethanol production is currently 730 crore litres a year. It is learnt that almost 85% of ethanol supply comes from sugar mills. The Niti Aayog estimates that more than 1,000 crore litres of ethanol is required for 20% blend. “We have requested the government to indicate the exact quantity that should come from sugar mills,” he said.
The international demand for sugar is good this sugar season and sugar mills have exhausted the quota of 6.1 million tonnes. The international price for sugar is almost ₹53 a kg compared with ₹34.5 to ₹36 a kg ex-mill price in India. “The ethanol programme will be beneficial in the long run. We are able to meet the demand and oil companies are lifting ethanol. There are some issues, but these will be resolved,” he added.