Government working on new ethanol policy to boost production

DELHI: In its bid to increase use of ethanol and other alternate fuel for transportation, government will come out with a new ethanol policy focusing on producing more ethanol within a month. Against the present annual demand of about 460 crore litres annually for different purposes, only 250 crore litres is available in the country.

Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that he has already discussed the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the new policy will seek to address wider sourcing of ethanol, including bio-wastes, over and above the main source sugar. The minister said different options including rotten vegetables and municipal waste are being considered to produce the “cleaner” fuel.
Government sources said that in order to meet the 10% blending of ethanol in petrol, at least 260 crore litre is required every year. Another 80 crore litre is required for using them in making chemicals and about 120 crore is needed for distilleries. “But the annual availability is only 250. How do you meet the requirement, if you don’t find new sources of producing ethanol? A committee of secretaries is already working on the plans to come out with a robust bio-fuel policy and ethanol will be the major one,” said a government official.

Stating that the government is keen to push shifting to ethanol and bio-CNG from the traditional fossil fuel, Gadkari said as an “ambassador” of the alternate fuel he will take up any sticky issue within the government. “One lakh buses can run on alternative fuel in the country. A large number of buses can run on ethanol in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where we have good source to get ethanol,” he said

The transport ministry has already issued draft notification on the emission norms for 100% ethanol-fuelled vehicles.