The phased roll-out of E20 (20 per cent ethanol blending in gasoline) will begin on April 1, Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said. The fuel will be available at select outlets and will not require changes to car engines. The proposed roll-out will give further impetus to the government’s plans of achieving the level of 20 per cent ethanol blending in the overall petrol supply in the country by ethanol supply year 2025-2026.
The Target Area:
Being rolled out in 11 states/UTs of Delhi, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Daman Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, E20’s initial target was April 1, 2023, but the government had advanced it. Under phase 1, 15 cities will be covered, the minister said.
A Massive Increase In Ethanol Blending:
India has increased the ethanol blending in petrol from 1.53 per cent in 2013-14 to 10.17 per cent in 2022. To achieve 20 per cent blending by 2025, the country needs 10.2-11 billion litres of ethanol. This would require a production capacity of around 14.5 billion litres because some production has to be kept aside for starch and chemical industry. Of this, around 7.6 billion litres of ethanol will have to be produced from sugarcane while another 7.2 billion litres will have to come from grain- and non-grain-based sources such as rice stubble and so on.
The minister said that this has resulted translating into a forex savings of over ₹41,500 crore, reduced GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions of 27 lakh tonnes and has benefitted farmers with expeditious payment of over ₹40,600 crore being made to farmers in the last 8 years.
Whats More Is In Line:
Oil-marketing companies are targeting the installation of alternative fuel stations, such as electric vehicle charging, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, and compressed biogas (CBG) at 22,000 retail outlets by May 2024.
The Centre has increased the rate for CBG plants under the SATAT scheme from Rs 46 per kg to Rs 54 per kg.
The government is also investing Rs 19,744 crore into the National Green Hydrogen Mission for developing green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (million metric tonnes) per annum.