Pradhan informed that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have contracted 1,250 million litres of ethanol in 2017-18 which will raise ethanol blending percentage in petrol to 4 per cent from 2.1 per cent earlier.
New Delhi: India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said a new bio-fuel policy will be launched in 2018 with his ministry likely to approach the cabinet soon with a draft proposal. There is a Rs 1 lakh crore investment opportunity under Waste-to-Wealth projects, he said.
“In a scenario where more than 95 per cent of our transportation fuel is being met with fossil fuels and 80 per cent of our crude requirement is met through imports, it is imperative to explore alternate, renewable energy sources and create a favourable environment for their utilization,” Pradhan said in his speech at the EU-India Conference on Advanced Bio-fuels here.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski, who was also present on the occasion, said EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership was established by Prime Minister Modi and EU leaders in 2016 for bringing together stakeholders and facilitate policy dialogue, business solutions, joint research and innovations. The initiative looks at financing models for clean energy and climate change projects and furthering mutual goals.
He added that European Investment Bank (EIB) has already provided loans and open credit lines with the value of more than 2 billion Euros to support implementation of Energy and Climate related projects in India.
Pradhan informed that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have contracted 1,250 million litres of ethanol in 2017-18 which will raise ethanol blending percentage in petrol to 4 per cent from 2.1 per cent earlier. The oil firms procured 44 million litres of bio-diesel in 2017-2018 as compared to 11 million litres in 2015-2016.
Pradhan had in November last year launched the draft of the New National Policy on Bio-fuels and Pradhan Mantri Ji-Van Yojana or Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for 2-G Ethanol bio-refineries.
The upcoming policy aims to increase production of bio-ethanol — from ligno-cellulosic biomass as against the conventional approach of molasses based ethanol production — for Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) which aims at 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol by 2030.
“We also have to achieve the target set by Prime Minister Modi to reduce energy imports by 10 per cent by 2022. Bio-fuels from the conventional routes like molasses, non-edible seeds etc will not be enough to meet our desired targets. This is where advanced bio-fuels from other non-conventional routes such as crop residue, industrial waste, municipal solid waste, waste gases can be useful in achieving the import cut targets,” Pradhan added.
While replying to a question on what kind of incentives will the government give to provide impetus to the bio-fuel sector, Pradhan said: “We are trying to ensure the bio-fuel industry becomes a market driven sector. That is why the incentive which we have envisioned is to provide an off-take guarantee. That, by itself, will be a big incentive.”
The oil ministry, in a draft of the scheme to provide financial support for Setting up Integrated Bio-ethanol Projects using Lignocellulosic Biomass & other Renewable Feedstock, said that the target of generating cumulative 2G (second generation) ethanol production capacity of 1 billion litre per annum will be achieved within a budget of Rs 5,000 crore.
According to the draft policy on 2G Bio-ethanol, the government plans to allocate Rs 4,800 crore from the scheme for commercial projects, Rs 150 crore for demonstration projects and Rs 50 crore as administrative charges for Centre for High Technology.