Mandatory Mixing Of 5% Ethanol in Petrol– A Step Should have
being Taken Much Earlier.
An early decision on 5% ethanol mandate should have helped
the country save fuel cost a lot. The cabinet committee on
economic affairs decided on 22nd November 2012 of mandatory
mixing of 5% ethanol in petrol from December 2012. The Petroleum
Ministry will issue a gazette notification shortly to implement
the program in 2012-13 sugar season.
But the decision on mandate will not implement the program
successfully as the same decision backed-up by a gazette notification
was already being taken by the past BJP Government.
The cabinet should have focused on
the pricing formula. If we go back, the congress government
had passed a notification which reflected the pricing of ethanol
based on Import Parity Price of petrol. The same should have
continued. This would have given a fair price for ethanol
and the sugarcane industry would have been aggressive to supply
fuel ethanol to oil corporations, balancing their industrial
alcohol and potable alcohol yearly supplies. But the decision
though late, “Der sahi lekin Durrust” will make India start
a new horizon for biofuels and shall be considered a step
to be less dependent on crude.
Ethanol Doping Chronology is given for
Year Action Taken
September 2002 Govt. of India decides to use 5% ethanol blending
with petrol in 9 states and 4 union territories
2003-04 First year of fuel ethanol program. 158 million litres
consumed out of planned 300 million litres
October 2004 Government withdrew the mandatory use of 5% ethanol
blending due to shrinkage in Cane Production and resulting
shortage of molasses
Jan 2006 Restart of program with voluntary blending by oil
companies. Only possible in 7 states.
November 2006 Expected rollout of 5% blending across the country
(except north-east and island states).
Annual volume 560 million litres
November 2007 5 % Ethanol blending made mandatory, Procedure
Ethanol from Direct Sugarcane Juice is Permitted.
10 % blending made Optional.
November 2008 Government plan for 10% blending across the
November 2012 Mandatory mixing of 5% ethanol in petrol from
December 2012 by the CCEA
Year 2017 National Biofuel Plan – 20% blending across the
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