Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has repeatedly backed the need for increasing the country’s scale of ethanol production and recently underlined that farmers need to turn to ethanol production instead of growing conventional crops to increase profitability as well as enhance supply.
As per news agency PTI, Gadkari highlighted that the need for flex fuel is primarily based on the fact that India spends around ₹8 lakh crore each year on importing fuel, a figure that can come down if flex fuels become widespread.
And for this, ethanol production needs to be enhanced. “Farmers in the country today give us foodgrains. But they should also start giving energy. The country currently spends ₹8 lakh crore a year on fuel import, and the amount can go up to ₹25 lakh crore in the future. If such a big amount goes to farmers, then they will not commit suicide,” he reportedly said in Aurangabad.
Gadkari also mentioned that automotive companies are ready to bring in flex engines to the country.
Last month, Gadkari had said that it would take at least six months for flex fuel engines to come to India. “We were planning to submit an affidavit in the Supreme Court to allow manufacturing of flex-fuel engines under the Euro IV emission norms…But now I feel that we will ask all vehicle manufacturers to make flex-fuel engines (that can run on more than one fuel) under the Euro VI emission norms in the next 6-8 months,” he had said.
The Centre recently issued a draft notification on ethanol blending in petrol. It proposes 12% and 15% ethanol blending in petrol as automotive fuels, which will be available as E-12 and E-15 respectively.