Fastracking the implementation of biofuel program: Minister

The minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Rajya Sabha on July 31, 2015 that the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Program launched in 2003, is being taken up at bigger scale

biodiesel

The Program was extended to 20 states and 4 union territories with effect from November 1, 2006 and public sector oil marketing companies were directed to sell 5 percent EBP subject to commercial viability as per Bureau of Indian Standards specifications.

As per Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, in furtherance to this Programme, government on November 22, 2012, inter-alia decided that 5 percent mandatory ethanol blending with petrol should be implemented across the country and that procurement price of ethanol would be decided henceforth between OMCs and suppliers of ethanol. Pursuant to the above decision, a Gazette Notification was issued by MoP&NG on 2nd January, 2013, directing OMCs to sell ethanol blended petrol with percentage of ethanol upto 10 percent as per Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specification to achieve 5 percent ethanol blending across the country as a whole.

On 3rd July, 2013, the Government, inter-alia, decided that OMCs should procure ethanol from domestic sources to achieve the mandatory requirement of 5 percent ethanol blending with petrol in areas/parts of the country where sufficient quantity of ethanol is available. In other parts of the country, blending of ethanol would be increased progressively depending upon the availability of ethanol to reach the 5 percent mandatory level.

In order to improve the availability of ethanol, on 10th December, 2014, the government has fixed the price of ethanol in the Range of Rs 48.50 to Rs 49.50 per litre, depending upon the distance of distillery from the depot/installation of the OMCs. The rates are inclusive of all central and statutory levies, transportation cost etc, which would be borne by the ethanol suppliers. Further, ethanol produced from other non-food feedstocks besides molasses, like cellulosic and ligno cellulosic materials including petrochemical route, has also been allowed to be procured subject to meeting the relevant BIS specifications.

Besides, ministry of petroleum and natural gas had announced a Bio-diesel Purchase Policy in October 2005, which became effective from 1.1.2006. Under this policy, OMCs would purchase bio-diesel, meeting the prescribed BIS standard, at a uniform price, as may be decided by the OMCs from time to time, for blending with High Speed Diesel (HSD) to the extent of 5 percent, at identified 20 purchase centres across the country. Further, the Government is considering to allow the direct sale of Bio-diesel (B100) by private Bio-diesel manufacturers, their authorised dealers and Joint Ventures (JVs) of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) authorised by MoP&NG for the limited purpose of blending to bulk consumers.

Ministry of petroleum and natural gas has constituted working group on industry basis in the field of bio-fuel to generate awareness and popularise and increase bio-fuel consumption in coordination with Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA). A national seminar on "Bio-fuel Program in India - The Way Forward" was organised by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas on July 13, 2015. In this Seminar, Senior Officers of the Ministry/OMCs, Bio-fuel Producers and Experts in the field came together to deliberate on various issues related to Bio-fuel.

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