The announcement was made at a special programme at the Vigyan Bhawan to commemorate 'World Biofuel Day' today. The event saw participation from farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs and several company representatives along with the Prime Minister of India and other ministers. The government has also announced that ethanol production will triple to 450 crore litres in the next four years, leading to import savings of Rs 12,000 crore.
As many as 12 biofuel refineries have been announced at the event with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore, according to PTI. The government aims to achieve 10 percent ethanol blending in petrol by 2022 and 20 percent by 2030. The refineries are meant to generate employment for 1,000 to 1,500 people.
The same event saw the unveiling of the booklet, ‘National Policy on Biofuels 2018’ and a web portal, ‘Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive and Virtuous Environmental Single window Hub’ (Parivesh).
The national policy on biofuels that was approved in June 2018 expands the scope of feedstock for ethanol production along with incentives for the production of advanced biofuels. On the basis of this new policy, the government had already announced its plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore and offer tax sops.
As per reports, ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 38 crore litres in 2013-14 to an estimated 141 crore litres in 2017-18. The Indian government reports that the bio-diesel blending that had commenced from August 10, 2015 had inspired the oil marketing companies to allocate 7.6 crore litres of biodiesel in 2018-19.
The programme was convened to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the government in the biofuel sector.
Also read: Centre clears new biofuel policy, will invest Rs 5,000 crore and offer tax sops