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The country has been able to save over 41,000 crore in foreign exchange through the use of 10% ethanol-blended petrol, said Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change, on Wednesday.

"India recently achieved 10% ethanol blending target five months in advance, saving over 41,000 crore worth of fuel imports for the nation," said Choubey while addressing an online event of auto industry body SIAM on sustainable mobility.

The initiative has led to sizable benefits for farmers, he added.

"Our next target is to achieve 20% ethanol blending and it is projected to be completed by 2025-26," Choubey noted.

He said ethanol blending is a great step toward reducing the country's fuel imports and carbon emissions.

Choubey's thoughts were echoed by Sunil Kumar, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas joint secretary (refinery), who added that he is confident 20% ethanol blending in gasoline would be achieved by 2025-26.

"We aim to achieve these plans uniformly across the country in the targeted years. With the efforts made by the government the existing installed ethanol distilleries have reached around 700 crore litres and likely to reach more than 1,200 crore litres for 20% blending by 2025-26," he noted.

Maruti Suzuki India CTO CV Raman said the target of 20% ethanol blending by 2025 would lead to a reduction in oil imports while incentivising farmers and reducing emissions.

India's ethanol blending goals

India has achieved the target of supplying 10% ethanol-blended petrol five months ahead of schedule in June and is aiming to double the blend by 2025-26 in order to cut oil import dependence and address environmental issues.

The original target for doping 10% ethanol, extracted from sugarcane and other agri commodities, in petrol was November 2023.

The government had earlier informed that ethanol blending has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 27 lakh tonnes and has also led to the expeditious payment of over 40,600 crore to farmers.

While earlier fuel-grade ethanol was produced only from sugarcane, since 2018, alternate routes such as sugarcane juice, sugar and sugar syrup, heavy molasses, damaged foodgrains unfit for human consumption, surplus rice and maize, were opened up.

As the availability of ethanol increases, the equivalent amount of crude (used for petrol production) import is reduced.

 

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