Oil firms fall short of ethanol blending target

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 07, 2014

New steps by Govt to help farmers too

Ethanol blending with petrol and diesel was the topic of the first question faced by the BJP Government as the Lok Sabha met for the Budget session on Monday.

In reply to supplementaries related to ethanol blending programme, most of which were raised by ruling BJP members amid the din over price rise, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said oil marketing companies were able to achieve only 1.37 per cent blending of ethanol (a sugar by-product) with petrol, against the target of 5 per cent.

Pradhan said so far there had been a lot of talk but little action on renewable fuel. But now, the new Government would take steps, which, he said, would also help the interests of farmers.

The hurdles

Admitting that ethanol blending faced a few hurdles, the Minister said issues related to the marketing network and the company buying ethanol were behind the failure to meet the target.

Pradhan said State Governments had been asked to simplify the procedures and expedite clearances to ease the availability of ethanol for blending.

In a written reply, Pradhan said the Ministry had received a representation in September 2013 from the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), in which they expressed their willingness to reach the 10 per cent blend level across the country.

Later in another representation, the ISMA urged the Government to move to flexible ethanol blending with petrol ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, depending upon sugarcane availability.

On a question on banning ethanol export, Pradhan said no proposal had been received so far from any Ministry or department, hence, there was there was no such move.

Published on July 07, 2014

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