Karnataka

KSRTC buses may run onethanol-blended fuel again

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Corporations in talks with oil firm for supply of diesel at a discount

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) may resume operating its buses — Bharat Stage-1 and Bharat Stage-2 (emission standards) — on ethanol-blended fuel from August as consultations are in progress with a public sector oil company to restart bulk diesel supply to its fuel stations here.

The corporation’s eco-friendly initiative of using ethanol-blended fuel for buses operated on intra-city routes here to lessen fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions came to an abrupt halt in January last after the KSRTC started buying diesel from retail stations because of increase in diesel price for bulk consumers.

Around 250 buses, mostly those without high-performance engines, were running on unblended diesel since then as the retail fuel stations here lacked ethanol-diesel blending arrangement. Only fuel stations in KSRTC bus depots were equipped with the blending facility.

KSRTC Divisional Controller (Mysore Urban) H.M. Ramesh told The Hindu that bulk diesel supply to fuel stations in KSRTC depots here was expected to restart next month with the KSRTC’s central office in Bangalore negotiating with the oil company to resume bulk supply.

‘Gap in price reducing’

“The gap between retail and wholesale price of diesel is thinning with retail price of diesel being hiked almost every month. We are hoping to get a little concession for bulk purchase besides reasonable repayment time,” he said.

Once the corporation negotiates and refueling resumes in KSRTC depots, the buses will once again run on ethanol-blended fuel, he said.

As per the guidelines, there is permission to blend only 7 per cent of ethanol with diesel. Adequate stock of ethanol had been kept in the depots in anticipation of resumption of bulk supply, Mr. Ramesh said.

Barring buses with Bharat Stage-III engines, other buses would run on ethanol-blended fuel, Mr. Ramesh said.

The KSRTC is reckoned to be the country’s first urban transport corporation to make use of the ethanol-diesel blend and biodiesel to run its buses. It started experimenting with the ethanol-diesel blend in 2005.

The corporation had suspended blending three years ago following a rise in the cost of ethanol.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 8:41:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ksrtc-buses-may-run-onethanolblended-fuel-again/article6170779.ece

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