Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Program
Recently the Union Cabinet has approved the process of ethanol procurement by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved higher prices for ethanol produced from different sugarcane based raw materials. This approval has been given under the EBP program for the sugar season 2022-23.
- Raw materials include molasses and sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup.
- An ethanol blend is defined as a blended automotive fuel that contains ethyl alcohol and is at least 99% pure.
- Also, it may be derived from agricultural products and typically mixed with gasoline.
- Besides sugarcane based raw material, ethanol production has also been allowed from maize and surplus rice available with the Food Corporation of India.
- The government is conducting the EBP program. In this, Oil Marketing Companies sell 10% Ethanol blended petrol.
- The program is being implemented across India except the Union Territories of Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep.
- The target of blending 10% ethanol in petrol on an average was achieved in June 2022. In view of this, the stipulated period for achieving the target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol has been changed to 2025 instead of 2030.
- India is the fifth largest ethanol producer in the world after the United States, Brazil, the European Union and China.
Importance of ethanol blended fuel
- It is a less polluting fuel. It offers similar efficiency at a lower cost than petrol.
- It provides energy security, reduces the import bill of crude oil and moves the economy towards a low carbon economy.
- It enables local enterprises and farmers to participate in an energy economy.
Measures taken to improve ethanol blending
- Additional differential excise duty on non-compound fuels has been announced in the Union Budget 2022-23.
- Grain based distilleries (distilleries) have also been given the benefit of interest subvention scheme.
- Environmental clearance procedures have been simplified.
- Instructions for use of automotive fuels E12 (88% petrol with 12 percent ethanol) and E15 have been notified.
- Amendments have been made to the National Biofuel Policy to allow more feedstock for the production of biofuels.
Source – The Hindu