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India's state-run fuel retailers are increasing their ethanol storage capacity by 51% as the nation targets to double the biofuel's blending with gasoline to 20% by 2025, a director at the country's top refiner Indian Oil Corp said on Friday.

India is the world's third biggest oil importer and relies on foreign suppliers to meet more than 80% of its demand.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2070, and is encouraging industries to switch to cleaner options including renewable and biofuels to cut carbon footprint.

India is close to achieving its target of 10% ethanol blended gasoline in this fiscal year ending March 31, SSV Ramakumar said in an energy conference.

Last year, India brought forward its target of selling 20% ethanol blended fuel across the country by five years to 2025, with sales beginning in some parts of the country from April 2023.

India's federal finance ministry has proposed a tax of 2 rupees a liters on unblended petrol from October.

State-run companies Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp own storage to hold 178 million litre of ethanol.

"With current capacity, about 4.30 billion litres of ethanol can be handled annually considering 15 days of coverage period. With tankage of 446.4 million litres by 2025, about 10.6 billion liters of ethanol can be handled annually," Ramakumar said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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