India has achieved 9 per cent ethanol blending in petrol and is confident of meeting the 20 per cent target by 2025, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.
Presently, 10 per cent ethanol, extracted from sugarcane or surplus foodgrain, is required to be blended or mixed in petrol (meaning 10 per cent of ethanol mixed with 90 per cent of petrol) with a view to cutting oil import dependence and provide farmers with an additional source of income.
Replying in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour, Puri said "In January, we have already exceeded the 9 per cent mark. We are confident that from 9 per cent to 20 per cent in the period between now and 2025 is doable".
Last year, the government brought forward the target to achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending with petrol to 2025, five years ahead of its previous target, to help reduce its dependence on costly oil imports. 10 per cent ethanol blending is to be achieved in 2022.
"I'm absolutely confident that 20 per cent target will be met by 2025," Puri said.
India is the world's third-biggest oil importer, relying on foreign suppliers to meet more than 85 per cent of its oil demand.
A 10 per cent blend would require 4 billion litres of ethanol by 2021-2022 sugar year (November 2021 to October 2022).
To achieve 20 per cent blending by 2025, and to meet the requirement of the chemical and other sectors, about 12 billion litres of alcohol/ethanol would be required. The sugar industry will divert 6 million tonne of surplus sugar to produce 7 billion litres of the ethanol needed while the other 5 billion litres of ethanol will be produced from excess grain.
Last year, the government had also allowed the mixing of ethanol extracted from surplus grains.