Bengaluru: As many as 422 projects related to ethanol has gotten an in-principle government approval, reports Economic Times. 

The website adds that it may add annual production capacity by 1,675 crore litres. Moreover such projects will bring a combined investment Rs 41,000 crore. Soft loan from banks will also be given on easier terms. This would benefit farmers and fast track the programme of ethanol blending with petrol to reduce dependency on oil imports, the website notes. 

It should be noted that the government has set a target of achieving 8.5% ethanol blending this year, followed by 10% next year and 20% by 2025.

“These proposals are from 22 states. So, we will have distributed production of ethanol benefiting farmers across the country. In next three years itself, we expect to almost double our existing production capacity of 684 crore litres through these new projects,” the website quoted a senior food ministry official as saying.

“Out of 422 proposals, 201 proposals were from grain-based distilleries while 141 were from distilleries using both grain and molasses as feed stock. We expect more such projects to come up,” the officer said officially.

The official said the oil marketing companies will require 1,000 crore litres of ethanol to achieve the 20% blending target. Besides, 400 crore litres of ethanol will be needed for chemical industry and other sectors.

“Out of the total requirement of 1400 crore litres, 700 crore litres is likely to be supplied by the sugar industry and another 700 crore litres by grain-based distilleries,” he said.