Maha’s ethanol production expected to reach 140 crore liter next year: sugar industry representative

Aurangabad, Aug 7 (PTI) Ethanol production in Maharashtra is expected to reach 140 crore per liter next year, sugar industry officials have said.

In the future, the demand for fuel will be more than food. “Therefore, the sugar industry of Maharashtra will also be referred to as the power industry in times to come,” Chairman of the National Federation of Sugar Cooperatives Limited, Jayprakash Dandegavkar, told PTI.

Ethanol is a by-product of sweets. Its production cycle runs from December 1 to November 30.

In 2020-21, Maharashtra produced 100.36 crore per liter of ethanol in 78 establishments, according to a representative of the state cooperative sugar mills federation.

Since December 2021, the state has so far produced 75.88 crore liters of ethanol and it is expected to reach 116 crore liters by November 30 this year at 85 facilities, he said.

Production is expected to reach 130 to 140 crores per liter next year. Establishments producing ethanol will also reach 90, he said.

Given the limitations of natural fuels, sugar-producing companies will also produce electricity, hydrogen and ethanol in the future, Dandegavkar said.

Speaking about the future path of ethanol production in the state, he said, “This production growth is primarily based on financial and government policies as well as viability and new technologies.” The government must maintain a balance between labor wages, sugar rates and also ensure good incomes for sugarcane farmers, he said.

In this scenario, the sugar industry cannot sustain its steady growth, he said.

He demanded that the government also financially support ethanol production.

“The cooperative sugar industry works on a ‘no profit, no loss’ policy. Therefore, it does not have the huge funds needed to undertake new projects,” he said.

The government helps to establish a cooperative sugar factory. In the same way, it should also help financially with the production of ethanol, he added. PTI AW GK GK

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Rachel J. Bradford