A report of the expert committee on the road map for ethanol blending in India 2020 to 2025 was released today by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The report has been prepared by the NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The Expert Committee has suggested a road-map for production and supply of ethanol blended petrol. Several key recommendations have been made in this report to increase and augment the production capacity and utilization of ethanol blended petrol. These steps will help in curbing the pollution level and saving revenues used for import of the petroleum products.
India has imported 185 metric tonnes of petroleum in the last financial year. Over 551 billion US dollars was spent on import of petroleum. As per the report, successful adoption of E-20 fuel can save over 30 thousand crore rupees. E20 fuel is a blend of 20 percent ethanol with petrol. Besides, ethanol is a less polluting fuel and offers equivalent efficiency at lower cost than petrol. The Expert Committee has expressed hope that the target of 20 per cent ethanol blending of petrol can be achieved by the year 2025 in the country. It has recommended that sugarcane and grain based ethanol production capacities shall have to be augmented to achieve the target. It has also recommended that ethanol would need to be supplied from surplus to deficit states to ensure uniform availability across the country. The Expert Committee has suggested that retail price of such fuels should be lower than normal petrol for wider acceptability of ethanol blended petrol. The Committee has advised the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to notify the blending program for all the oil marketing companies. It has also been recommended by the Committee to launch a nation-wide awareness campaign to educate the consumers about the benefits of ethanol blended petrol and to select correct fuel for their vehicles.