Oil marketing companies (OMCs) floated a tender on Tuesday for contracting around 112 crore litres of denatured anhydrous ethanol for blending with auto fuels. The last date for submitting bids is June 20.

State-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) has floated the tender for the supply of ethanol in the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2021-22, which ends in November. As on June 5, OMCs have cumulatively issued Letter of Intent (LoIs) for 443.24 crore litres. Of this, around 439.80 crore litres have been contracted and 224.93 crore litres delivered.

Blending status

For ethanol made from sugarcane juice, LoIs were issued for 79.27 crore litres, while 79.68 crore litres were contracted and receipts issued for 64.78 crore litres, as of June 5.

In case of B-Heavy Molasses, LoIs were issued for 269.62 crore litres, of which 265.98 crore litres were contracted and receipts issued for 127.10 crore litres. For C-Heavy Molasses, LoIs were issued for 13.32 crore litres, while 12.70 crore litres were contracted and receipts issued for 6.31 crore litres.

For ethanol made from damaged food grains, the OMCs have issued LoIs for 43.65 crore litres and of this, 36.88 crore litres have been contracted, while receipts have been issued for 12.13 crore litres. Similarly, for ethanol made from surplus rice, LoIs were issued for 37.38 crore litres, and of this, 44.56 crore litres were contracted. Receipts were issued for 14.61 crore litres.

As on June 5, OMCs have achieved a blending of 10.04 per cent. India has already surpassed the target of 10 per cent ethanol blending five to six months in advance. The announcement in this regard was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 5. A day later, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said 20 per cent ethanol-blended petrol will be available at select petrol pumps in the country.

Promoting ethanol

The government is also promoting the ethanol blended petrol (EBP) programme with the objective of boosting the agriculture sector, environment, reducing import dependency and savings in foreign exchange. In this direction, the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018, was notified, which laid out the indicative target of 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol and 5 per cent blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030 in the country.

Based on encouraging responses on the supply side, the government has advanced the target of 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol from 2030 to 2025-26.

It has also taken several measures to increase production and utilisation of the biofuel, which includes permitting procurement of ethanol produced from other non-food feedstock besides molasses, like cellulosic and lignocellulosic materials like cotton stalk, wheat straw, rice straw, bagasse, bamboo, etc.