World Biofuel Day: PM Modi To Dedicate Rs 900 Crore 2G Ethanol Plant In Panipat

by Swarajya Staff - Aug 10, 2022 10:55 AM +05:30 IST
World Biofuel Day: PM Modi To Dedicate Rs 900 Crore 2G Ethanol Plant In PanipatEthanol plant (Representative Image) (Wikimedia Commons)
  • The 2G ethanol plant has been built at an estimated cost of over Rs 900 crore by Indian Oil Corporation close to the Panipat Refinery.

    It is set to utilise about 2 lakh tonnes of rice straw (parali) to generate around 3 crore litres of ethanol annually.

As part of a slew of measures being taken by the government to boost the production and usage of biofuels in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate a second generation (2G) ethanol plant in Panipat to the nation on 10 August which also marks the World Biofuel Day.

The initiative towards transforming the energy sector into a more affordable, accessible, efficient and sustainable one comes amidst Lok Sabha on Monday (8 August) passing a bill seeking to promote the use of ethanol and other non-fossil fuels.

The 2G ethanol plant has been built at an estimated cost of over Rs 900 crore by Indian Oil Corporation close to the Panipat Refinery using state-of-the-art indigenous technology and is set to usher in a new chapter in the waste-to-wealth conversion by utilising about 2 lakh tonnes of rice straw (parali) annually to generate around 3 crore litres of ethanol annually.

Production of biofuel has gained momentum as creating an end-use for the agri-crop residue would empower farmers and provide an additional opportunity for income generation for them. The project will provide direct employment to people involved in the plant operation and generate indirect employment in the supply chain for rice straw cutting, handling, storage, etc.

With this plant the government is eyeing phase out of about 3 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year with reduction in burning of rice straw which may be seen as equivalent to replacing nearly 63,000 cars annually on the country's roads.

The project will have zero liquid discharge. The project will be complemented by the Bill passed in the lower House which aims to help the country achieve its international commitments with respect to climate change goals and comes amidst India achieving the world’s fastest renewable energy capacity addition.

The ‘Piloting the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, to promote use of ethanol also provides for penalties for violations by industrial units or vessels as well as on manufacturers if a vehicle fails to comply with fuel consumption norms.

The government realises that with the ongoing energy transition with special focus on the promotion of new and renewable energy, there is need to facilitate the achievement of 'panchamrit' as five nectar elements presented by India in Conference of Parties -26 in Glasgow last year.

Before considering diversion towards ethanol, net sugar production is estimated to be higher at 2022-23 against 39.4 million tonnes in the current 2021-22 marketing year.

According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) estimates, diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol will reduce sugar pro million tonnes in the next 2022-23 marketing year. In the current 2021-22 marketing year, about 3.4 MT of diversion has been estimated.

Due to the coordinated efforts of the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) the target of 10 per cent blending under the programme has been achieved much ahead of the targeted timelines of November 2022. With all the initiatives taken by the government, the Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) is on track to achieve the target of 20 per cent blending by 2025-26.

According to a Niti Aayog report, immense benefits can accrue to the country by 20 per cent ethanol blending by 2025, such as saving Rs 30,000 crore of foreign exchange per year, energy security, lower carbon emissions, better air quality, self-reliance, use of damaged foodgrains, increasing farmers' incomes, employment generation, and greater investment opportunities.

The Niti Aayog’s E-20 roadmap proposes to raise pan-India ethanol production capacity from the current 700 to 1500 crore litres, phased rollout of E20 from April 2023 and its availability by April 2025.

The blueprint includes rollout of E20 material-compliant and E10 engine-tuned vehicles from April 2023 and production of E20-tuned engine vehicles from April 2025.

Also Read: Farmers Gain Over Rs 40,000 Crore With Ethanol Blended Petrol

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