The government should come out with a clear roadmap on ethanol sourcing from the sugar industry, said Aditya Jhunjhunwala, President of Indian Sugar Mills’ Association.
The Niti Aayog envisages requirement of 1,400 crore litres of ethanol to achieve 20% blending by 2025-2026. In the current ethanol year that began on November 1, 2022, nearly 550 crore litres of ethanol has been produced and 450 crore litres of it came from the sugar industry. The remaining was from maize and damaged grain.
“We (the sugar industry) need to double capacity to produce 750 crore litres. We need to put up more plants and that requires capex and time. We need a clear road map and the prices should be brd on a long-term formula taking into consideration the FRP, inflation, sugar prices etc.,” he said.
Oil companies have increased the price for ethanol from damaged grains and maize. The sugar industry expects the need to invest almost ₹17,500 crores and reasonable ROI to create additional ethanol capacity. For this, it needs to know the pricing roadmap, he said.
Mr. Jhunjhunwala added that the government should also look at E 100 fuel (pure ethanol), which is relevant and available in Brazil. Further, “we have requested Indian Oil Corporation for a trial project with ISMA to produce ethanol from bagasse. IOCL has put up a trial at Panipat to produce ethanol from agri residue,” he said.