Maharashtra’s sugar industry seeks permission to make ethanol from sugar
Pune: Sugar industry of Maharashtra has sought central government’s permission to convert the surplus sugar back into ethanol. The central government has decided to discourage excess production of sugar and instead promote ethanol made from sugarcane.
“Henceforth, we will not be able to take any policy decisions to help dealing with excess sugar production. But we now have a market for ethanol which is of Rs 11,000 crore ,” said Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari. He was speaking at Sugar Conference 20-20 organised by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, the chief lender of the state’s sugar industry.
“The ethanol market will grow to RS 50,000 crore in next two years and had potential to grow up to RS 2 lakh crore,” he said. India is starting at a record closing stock of sugar in 2018-19 season.
Ravi Gupta, president (corporate) Renuka Sugars said, “The distilleries in the state will not be able to use their capacities during next crushing season as the availability of molasses will be less due to drought. There we need permission to make ethanol from sugar.”
Of the 83 crore litre of ethanol procurement quota given to Maharashtra, the industry has signed contracts for supply of 69 crore litre. Of the contracted volume, 35 crore litre was for supply within the state and 34 crore litre for out of the state.
The central government has already increased rate of ethanol procured by oil companies for their blending program.
Gadkari said that there will not be any problem for ethanol market in India during next 10 years. “TVS and Bajaj have been asked to make two wheelers that run 100% on ethanol. They will give me the demonstration on July 12. We want every sugar mill which produces ethanol to set up its own ethanol pump,” said Gadkari.
The minister, who also holds charge of Ministry of Medium and Small industries said that he is working to bring a policy to revive the closed and sick sugar mills as ethanol plants.
The Economic Times 08-07-19