`Gasohol' to cost less, reduce pollution

BANGALORE NOV. 9. The decision of the Union Government to introduce "Gasohol" from January 1 is expected to bring benefits to consumers, petroleum dealers, oil companies, and sugar mill owners.

This environment-friendly petrol variant is expected to cost less and reduce pollution. "Gasohol" contains five per cent ethanol.

Welcoming the Government move, Bhushan Narang, President of the Bangalore Petroleum Dealers' Association, told The Hindu though the pricing structure had not been worked out, the new product was expected to cost less. "It will also earn us more foreign exchange," he added.

The reason for this was the Union Government's promise to give various incentives to the States, including waiving inter-State import duty on ethanol. The fact that "Gasohol" used ethanol, which was a by-product of sugar, would also lead to lower costs. Given the glut in sugar production, ethanol could be procured easily by oil companies. The Government's move would create a new market for sugar manufacturers, he said.

Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Goa have set up facilities for meeting their ethanol requirements. States such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab have expressed inability to provide adequate quantities of ethanol within January 1.

Initially, "Gasohol" will have five per cent ethanol. With wide acceptance of the product after the trial stage, the ethanol content will be increased in a phased manner. The blend of ethanol in "Gasohol" is expected to go up to 15 per cent.

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