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Ethanol blending has resulted in forex savings worth Rs 41,500 crore, says Hardeep Puri

Ethanol blending in petrol increased from 1.53 per cent in 2013-14 to 10.17 per cent in 2022 which has led to foreign exchange (forex) savings worth Rs 41,500 crore and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 27 lakh MT, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday.

He said the progress on ethanol blending has been ahead of the targets. 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol was achieved in mid-2022 ahead of the year-end target.

According to the minister, 20 per cent of ethanol blending in petrol would be done in the financial year 2025-26. Originally, the government had set a target to achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2030. Singh said the target has been advanced and would be achieved by the year 2025-26.

To achieve this target the government is in the process to set up five second-generation ethanol bio-refineries in the country. The new bio-refineries will be located at Panipat (Parali) in Haryana, Bathinda in Punjab, Bargarh (Parali) in Odisha, Numaligarh (Bamboo) in Assam and Devangere in Karnataka.

The minister said the government has taken several steps to boost ethanol production and ease the blending process. GST on biofuel has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent.

Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have allowed one-time registration of ethanol suppliers. OMCs have further reduced the security deposit amount from 5 per cent to 1 per cent extending a benefit of around Rs 400 crore to ethanol suppliers, the minister said. The applicable penalty on non-supplied quantity has been reduced to 1 per cent from the earlier 5 per cent.

Puri formally inaugurated the ethanol pavilion at the Auto Expo 2023. This year’s auto expo, which opened for the general public on Friday, is themed “Explore the World of Mobility”. The expo will close on 18th January.

Addressing the event, Puri said the auto expo would provide a unique opportunity to showcase India as both an engine of global economic growth and a driver for global consumption.

“India is the front runner in mitigating climate change globally and is progressing fast on its energy transition agenda. Today’s event marks the extent to which India is willing to innovate to keep its pledge of protecting the environment while simultaneously addressing the growing energy demand,” the minister said.

Puri said during India’s G20 presidency this year a global alliance on bio-fuels would be launched. The United States and Brazil would be part of this global alliance.

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