India ready to supply E20 fuel from April 2023: Hardeep Singh Puri

India is ready from the supply side to launch E20 fuel, which will be available from April 2023, said Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri
India ready to supply E20 fuel from April 2023: Hardeep Singh Puri
India ready to supply E20 fuel from April 2023: Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi: India is ready from the supply side to launch E20 and the E20 fuel will be available from April 2023, said Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday. "We have not only achieved 10 percent ethanol blending five months before the target, but we will achieve 20 percent blending target five years before the target of 2030," Puri said while addressing the plenary session on "A giant leap for biofuels – Ethanol blending & SATAT Scheme" at SIAM's International Conference on Biofuels.

However, he said that there is a need to massively upscale the production of flex-fuel engine vehicles in the country.

'There will be guaranteed demand for E20 compatible vehicles'

The minister assured the automobile manufacturers that as the world's fastest-growing and most robust major economy, there will be guaranteed consumer demand for flex-fuel and E20-compatible vehicles. The government, as has been reiterated, will provide comprehensive support from the supply, policy, and demand side for making the sale of flex-fuel E10 and E20 vehicles a viable business proposition for the auto industry, he said.

He said that the government has realised the game-changing opportunity for achieving economic growth, especially for the farming and rural economy, increasing India's domestic energy production and self-sufficiency, reducing air pollution, and helping India lead the world toward a clean energy transition.

In this background, National Biofuel Policy was enacted in 2018 to promote the production and consumption of biofuels. Ethanol-blending percentage in petrol rose sharply from 0.67 percent in 2013 to 10 percent in May 2022, ie, 5 months ahead of schedule, said Puri.

Ethanol-blending has led to savings of more than Rs 50,000 cr of forex

The minister further added that the policy has translated into a reduction of 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and savings of more than Rs 50,000 crore of foreign exchange. Achieving E20 blending with petrol by 2025 would help save foreign exchange for the country worth about Rs 30,000 crore per annum. He further informed that the number of petrol pumps selling biofuels has increased three folds from 29,897 in 2016-17 to 67,641 in 2021-22. India's ethanol demand is poised to grow to 10.16 billion litres by 2025.

India launching Global Alliance on Biofuels: Puri

Puri said that about 12 commercial plants and 10 demonstration plants of 2G bio-refineries (using agricultural waste as substrate) have been proposed to be built under the Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan-Vatavaran Anukool Fasal Awashesh Nivaran) Yojana in regions with adequate biomass supply. He also spoke about Asia's 2G ethanol biorefinery, which was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Panipat, Haryana in August 2022.

India is also launching a Global Alliance on Biofuels, along with USA and Brazil, during India's Presidency of G20, the minister said.

The minister also talked about the support provided by the government to bio-energy technologies such as CBG with initiatives such as SATAT, under which 37 CBG plants have been commissioned, and approximately 9,000 tonnes of Compressed Bio-Gas have been sold.

Puri highlighted that the forex saved by the government by substituting imported petroleum fuel with biofuel and natural gas with CBG is being used to subsidise other low-carbon mobility technologies, such as EVs, forming a self-reinforcing loop of the clean energy transition. So far, 4,003 EV charging stations and 72 battery swapping stations have been put up by OMCs across the country. OMCs have also planned to set up 20,000 EVCS in major cities and highways across the country by 2024, he informed.

The minister called upon Indian automakers that they must continue on the path of sustainability in order to make decarbonised mobility a reality. The nimble shift witnessed during Bharat Stage VI adoption needs to be replicated for the biofuel adoption initiatives.

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