08 December 2021, New Delhi: Blending ethanol with petrol in India has reached its highest level of 8.1 per cent in the just concluded supply year of 2020-21 (December-November), the government said on Tuesday.
“In the ethanol supply year of 2020-21 (Dec-Nov), 3.03 billion litres of ethanol has been supplied by distilleries to OMCs, which is historically the highest. The supply of ethanol was only 0.38 billion litres with blending levels of only 1.53 per cent in 2013-14, which has increased by eight times in the last seven years,” the food ministry said in a tweet on Tuesday.
It said the government was committed to achieving a blending target of 10 per cent in the current ethanol supply year of 2021-22.
Meanwhile, sugar companies, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said some conditions by OMCs for delivering ethanol were in direct contravention of the policies of the Departments of Food, Finance and Petroleum and could affect their proposed investment.
They alleged OMCs had shown a preference for distilleries that produced ethanol from maize against those that used sugarcane and rice, and this violated the government’s policy of encouraging all raw materials.
That apart, they said the OMCs were discouraging the “existing” ethanol manufacturers by prescribing conditions that prioritised new ethanol manufacturers, even if the former had contracts with them.
A source said the mills had made the point that “this is confusing and discriminatory, not only for sugar companies and cooperatives, but also for all the existing ethanol manufacturers in the country”.
A senior industry official said the letter mentioned a firm commitment of ethanol purchase by OMCs was a precondition for getting loans from banks.
It has been noticed that some OMCs have released a list of sugar companies with which they want to enter into along-term purchase contract of 10 years but the names of the companies are not on the list the Food Department has approved, he said.
“These companies (which included some existing ethanol makers from sugarcane) have been automatically disqualified to get bank loans,” the official alleged. STATUS CHECK
Ethanol Installed Current requirement capacity installed required capacity (2021)
From sugarcane & molasses 6-6.5 6.5-7 5.25 From grain and corn 4-4.5 5-5.50 0.75 Total 10.5 12 6