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Ethanol-blended petrol saved Rs 5,000 cr in 2017-18: Dharmendra Pradhan

The National Policy on Biofuels envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030
New Delhi: During 2017-18, 150.5 crore litres of ethanol was blended in petrol which resulted in foreign exchange impact of about Rs 5,070 crores and carbon emission reduced to the extent of 29.94 lakh tonnes, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday. The National Policy on Biofuels-2018, approved by the Cabinet in March 2018, envisages an indicative target of 20 percent blending of ethanol in petrol and 5 percent blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030, Pradhan said while responding to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The EBP programme

Under Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme, ethanol blending in petrol is being undertaken by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the whole country except island Union Territory (UT) of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep wherein, OMCs blend up to 10 percent ethanol in petrol under the EBP Programme.

Ethanol to be produced from damaged/surplus foodgrains

The minister told the Lok Sabha that the National Policy on Biofuels-2018 allows production of ethanol from damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice etc which are unfit for human consumption. The policy also allows conversion of surplus quantities of food grains to ethanol, based on the approval of the National Biofuel Coordination Committee.

VGF funding to 2nd generation bio-ethanol manufacturers

Further, the government has approved Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to second generation bio-ethanol manufacturing projects to increase the availability of ethanol for EBP programme, Pradhan said. The ministry has also issued Gazette Notification dated May 1 on “Guidelines for sale of Biodiesel for blending with high-speed diesel for transportation purposes-2019.”

The BS-VI leapfrog

The government has decided to leapfrog directly to BS-VI quality with effect from April 1, 2020 across the country. Considering the rise in environmental pollution in the National Capital Region, the government has started the supply of BS-VI auto fuel in the National Capital Territory of Delhi from April 1, 2018. Further, in line with the directions issued by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, supply of BS-VI auto fuel has started in 10 districts of the National Capital Region and three other districts/cities outside of National Capital Region (Karauli, Dhaulpur and city of Agra) from April 1.