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Hardeep Puri reports savings of ₹24,300 crore in foreign exchange and 509 crore liters of petrol through ethanol blending in 2022-23.

Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri Announces Remarkable Savings, Ambitious Goals, and Global Leadership in Biofuels at COP28

Hardeep Puri, the Union Petroleum Minister, shared on Wednesday that the blending of ethanol into petrol has led to significant benefits. In the supply year 2022-23, this blending has saved over ₹24,300 crore in foreign exchange and conserved about 509 crore liters of petrol. Public sector oil marketing companies have also facilitated a swift payment of around ₹19,300 crore to farmers.

During this period, an estimated reduction of 108 lakh metric tonnes of net carbon dioxide was observed. Recently, public sector oil marketing companies announced an incentive of ₹6.87 per litre to encourage ethanol production from C-heavy molasses, a by-product of sugar factories, promoting a greener economy.

India has already introduced 20% blended fuel in a phased manner in April 2023, with widespread availability anticipated soon. The government aims to achieve 20% ethanol-blended petrol by 2024-25 and 30% by 2029-30, advancing the target of E20 fuel from 2030 to 2025.

E20 blending aims to reduce oil import costs, enhance energy security, lower carbon emissions, and improve air quality. Currently, there are over 9,300 retail outlets selling E20 fuel, and the coverage is expected to extend nationwide by 2025.

In December, the Food Ministry directed sugar mills not to use cane juice or syrup for ethanol production. However, there was a reversal, allowing the use of juice and B-heavy molasses to produce ethanol, with a cap on sugar diversion at 17 lakh tonnes for the current marketing season.

India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment at COP26, is working towards ambitious goals, including reaching 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity, generating half of all energy from renewables, and reducing emissions by 1 billion metric tonnes by 2030. The country also aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.

Hardeep Puri highlighted India’s global leadership in the Biofuels supply chain, launching the Global Biofuels Alliance in September 2023. This initiative gained recognition at COP 28 in December 2023 as a pivotal path in the sustainability journey.

Puri also emphasized India’s steps to increase the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix from 6.3% to 15%. An investment of $67 billion in natural gas infrastructure over the next 5-6 years is expected to triple gas consumption, reaching over 500 MMSCMD by 2030.

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