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Govt to formulate policies on ethanol, methanol: Gadkari

NEW DELHI, Feb 27:
The Centre will soon come out with policies on the second-generation ethanol as well as methanol, non-conventional fuel resources, which will bring down the crude import bill by Rs 1 lakh crore, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.
After chairing an inter-ministerial meeting attended by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, among others, Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said this will also create an industry worth Rs 1 lakh crore and provide employment to around 25 lakh youths, he said.
“It was decided in today’s meeting that the Petroleum Ministry will formulate a policy on the second-generation ethanol for approval from the Cabinet,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari said it was decided to take second generation ethanol production on mission mode as India accounted for a huge Rs 6 lakh crore imports bill on crude per annum and exploring and generating indigenous alternative would cut crude imports by at least Rs 1 lakh crore.
He said at present ethanol is derived from molasses which is barely 119 crore litres as against a minimum requirement of about 500 crore litres.
“We get hardly three per cent ethanol whereas we can mix 22 per cent in petrol. There is shortage of 19 per cent…We can make second generation ethanol from bamboo, cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw, bagass etc… This will generate employment for 25 lakh rural youth….The industry will be of Rs 1 lakh crore size,” the Minister said.
He said the biofuel was not only cost-effective but a pollution free import substitute.
The Minister said that in countries like the US and Brazil, there are flex engines of cars where 22 per cent ethanol could be easily blended in petrol.
Promotion to green fuel like ethanol will not only arrest migration of people from villages to town but using bio technology production of biomass could be enhanced and more people could be roped in for employment, he said. Gadkari also said in view of surplus cola production it has been decided to promote methanol output and Petroleum Ministry will also bring a policy for production of methanol from coal.
He said as many as 150 petroleum products could be made from coal. Earlier, Gadkari chaired an inter-ministerial panel meeting, attended by Petroleum Minister Pradhan, among others, on the second generation ethanol. (PTI)

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