Sugar Ethanol portal of India
Sugar Ethanol Portal of India was inaugurated by Union Minister Piyush Goyal. The portal, developed by the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF), will provide information on the availability and demand of sugar and ethanol in the country, as well as facilitate online trading and bidding of these products.
Mr. Piyush Goyal, who is also the Minister of Commerce and Industry, said that the portal will help in achieving the target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025, which will reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels and save foreign exchange. He also said that the portal will benefit the farmers, who will get better prices for their sugarcane, and the consumers, who will get cheaper and cleaner fuel.
The minister also urged the sugar industry to adopt modern technologies and practices to improve efficiency and productivity. He said that the government is committed to supporting the industry through various schemes and policies, such as interest subvention, soft loans, buffer stock subsidies, and export subsidies. He also asked the industry to diversify into other products, such as ethanol, power, paper, and chemicals, to enhance their profitability and sustainability.
The portal was launched in the presence of Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, NFCSF Chairman Dilip Walse Patil, and other dignitaries. The portal can be accessed at www.sugar-ethanol.nfcsf.com.
What role ethanol will play in the Indian economy and the Indian automobile sector?
India is actively promoting the use of ethanol blending as a strategy to combat pollution, enhance economic sustainability, and support farmers in the sugarcane industry. The government has set an ambitious goal of blending at least 80% of petrol with ethanol by 2025-2030.
Although the practice of blending ethanol with petrol is not new in India, with small proportions of around 2 to 3 percent being used for over a decade, the current objective is to significantly increase the blending ratio. This gradual escalation has been driven by the benefits of reducing the country’s reliance on costly crude oil imports. Presently, the ethanol doping level has reached approximately 10 percent, and the government aims to raise it to 20 percent by 2025.
The move toward higher ethanol blending is expected to yield substantial advantages for the sugar sector, potentially resulting in increased profitability. In line with this, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and GAIL India Ltd are planning to construct grain-based refineries to augment India’s ethanol production by 2025, as reported by the Independent Commodity Intelligence Service.
While the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers has assured that automobile companies will gear up to meet the demand for ethanol-blended fuel, certain challenges lie ahead. Inefficient land and water utilization for ethanol production pose obstacles to its prospects in India. Moreover, the achievement of the original target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2030 remains uncertain.
Despite the challenges, the pursuit of ethanol blending in India signifies a proactive approach to address environmental concerns, reduce dependence on imports, boost the sugar industry, and explore sustainable alternatives for the transportation sector.