Pune: Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday urged sugar producers and refiners to focus on alternative fuels, such as ethanol, as a method to tackle issues like excess production and low prices of sugar cane.
Gadkari was remotely addressing the 66th annual convention of the Deccan Sugar Technologists’ Association (DSTA), at Pune’s Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA). The minister said the Centre is working on plans to make ‘flex’ engines for vehicles mandatory, which can run on blended fuels of petroleum and ethanol, or 100% of each as well.
“It is essential to ensure maximum conversion of sugar cane to ethanol. India spends a lot of money buying fuel, and increased ethanol production is needed to reduce fuel imports,” said Gadkari. “Farmers will also get good prices for sugar cane; the future of the sugar industry is linked to ethanol production. We are currently not producing the required amount of ethanol, and much more is needed,” he said.