State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) will soon start the procurement process for ethanol from maize, widening the supply sources for ethanol production.

The procurement process for ethanol from FCI surplus rice has started for the 2020-21 period.

Besides being environment friendly and reducing import dependence, it would help farmers increase their income levels. The additional sources of ethanol from surplus rice and maize are likely to widen supply sources all over the country.

At annual motor spirit (petrol) consumption estimated at about 4,600 crore litres, 450-460 crore litres of ethanol will be required during the December 2020 to November 2021 cycle.

The government has targeted ethanol blending in petrol to achieve 10 per cent and 20 per cent blending by 2022 and 2030, respectively.

“We are on our way to achieving ethanol blending of petrol target of 10 per cent by 2022, as additional sources for ethanol have been added,” said Arun Singh, Director (Marketing) & Director (Refineries), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

To improve supplies of 10 per cent ethanol blended petrol, the government has introduced various policy initiatives to widen the feedstock options for production of ethanol. The government has allowed procurement of ethanol from indigenous supplies made from six feedstocks, including 100 per cent sugarcane juice/ sugar syrup/ sugar, ‘B-Heavy’ molasses, ‘C-Heavy’ molasses, damaged foodgrains, surplus rice from FCI and maize.

PSU oil marketing companies are required to blend 10 per cent ethanol in petrol under the National Policy on Biofuels 2018 Ethanol Blended Program (EBP).

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