• “India on track to surpass China as third-largest ethanol consumer by 2026”: IEA

    The ethanol demand in India has tripled between 2017 and 2021 with consumption expected at 30 million litres in the last calendar year. As a result, India will surpass China to become the world’s third-largest ethanol consumer by 2026.

    “India is on track to surpass China as the world’s third-largest ethanol consumer by 2026. In January 2021, India brought forward its 20 per cent ethanol blending target with gasoline from 2030 to 2025 and is aiming to start selling 20 per cent blends in 2023,” as per the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    In October last year road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, addressing a webinar on alternative fuels organised by industry body ISMA, said the government is promoting ethanol manufacturing in a big way and assured that it will procure all ethanol produced in the country. In an effort to reduce the import of petroleum products, the government has been encouraging farmers to produce ethanol that can be blended with petrol and used as a fuel in vehicles.

    India has made impressive progress in increasing ethanol blending, from 2 per cent in 2017 to 8 percent by the summer of 2021. “In our accelerated case, we assume India meets these challenges and achieves its 20 per cent blending target in 2025,” IEA projected.

    The government has hiked the price of ethanol extracted from sugarcane for blending in petrol by up to Rs 1.47 per litre for 2021-22 marketing year starting December, as part of its target to achieve 20 per cent doping by 2025.

    Higher mixing of ethanol in petrol will help cut India its oil import bill and also benefit sugar cane farmers as well as sugar mills.

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