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HomeEthanolPonni Sugars abandons plans to establish ethanol plant

Ponni Sugars abandons plans to establish ethanol plant

Chennai: Ponni Sugars (Erode) has shelved its plan to establish an ethanol unit within its sugar complex due to restrictions from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, reported The Hindu.

The company blames stringent environmental regulations for the delay. “Our ethanol project has failed to take off due to the rigid stance of pollution control authorities,” stated N Gopala Ratnam, Chairman of the company, in a video conference addressing the annual general meeting.

Ponni Sugars argues that the ethanol plant needs to be situated within the sugar mill complex for optimal viability. This setup would allow them to efficiently produce additional products like purified alcohol, mirroring their competitors’ capabilities.

However, a state government regulation throws a wrench in their plans. This rule restricts establishing industrial units within a 5-kilometre radius of designated rivers. “It looks like this conditionality needs re-evaluation, especially when technology has advanced significantly to effectively address environmental concerns,” Ratnam remarked.

He advocated allowing existing facilities in these areas to expand and diversify as long as they meet stringent environmental standards. Since the issue hinges on public policy, the ethanol project is on hold.


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