Reduce sugar production and increase conversion to ethanol: Gadkari

The minister warned leaders of the sugar and allied industries that if sugar production continues as it is doing now, it will hurt the industry in times to come. Reminding them that as a country we have a surplus of rice, a surplus of corn and a surplus of sugar, Gadkari said that what is good for our future is to reduce the production of sugar and sugar. increase ethanol production.

The minister was addressing the Sugar & Ethanol India Conference (SEIC) 2022 in Mumbai on Sunday. The conclave, organized by ChiniMandi, a news and information portal for the sugar and related industries, sought to bring together national and global industry experts to discuss key challenges and risk response strategies in the trade. national and global sugar and the way forward to build a more innovative and sustainable sugar and ethanol sector in India.

Gadkari said the economy of ethanol is superior to vehicles running on diesel or gasoline. “We published a notice on flexible motors; Toyota, Hyundai and Suzuki assured me that they would bring flexible engines within six months. Recently, we launched a pilot car powered by green hydrogen. The president of Toyota informed me that their car is flexible – either 100% gasoline or 100% ethanol and that the Toyota cars of the next few days will run on hybrid electricity, which will generate 40% electricity and travel 60% of the distance using 100% ethanol. This economy will be very advantageous compared to gasoline.”

The minister informed that the center has decided to open biofuel outlets for citizens to fill up with ethanol and that cars, scooters, motorcycles and rickshaws can be available on flex engine. “The Prime Minister inaugurated three ethanol pumps in Pune; however, no one has come all the way here to fill up with ethanol. This is because Bajaj, TVS and Hero have launched flexible motor driven motorcycles; scooters and motorcycles are available on flex engines. They are also ready to offer auto rickshaws.”

The minister urged all sugar factories that manufacture ethanol to open ethanol pumps in their factories and other areas. “It can bring scooters, rickshaws and cars running on 100% ethanol and thus increase ethanol consumption, reduce pollution, reduce imports and also provide jobs for people in villages.” “There will definitely be a fairly large market for ethanol,” he said.

The Minister assured that no one need worry about whether there will be a big enough market for ethanol. “Ethanol is a green and clean fuel; we currently produce 465 million liters of ethanol. However, when the E-20 program is finished, our needs will become around 1,500 crore liters. Additionally, in the next five years when flex engines are ready, ethanol requirements will increase to 4,000 crore liters. »

Therefore, if you do not convert to ethanol and continue to produce sugar, the plant will become loss-making, the minister warned.

A viable alternative is to produce syrup from sugarcane juice and also produce ethanol from that, he added.

The minister said that every factory should go into B molasses. “India has promised that we will stop sugar export subsidies after December 2023. Therefore, every factory should go into B molasses. only if we discourage sugar production can we get a reasonable price for sugar. The government had reserved 245 crore liters for molasses B; however, only 55 crore liters or 22% were supplied, indicating a significant discrepancy. Therefore, it is a sure way by which sugar factories can also be saved and our economy will also be favorable thanks to ethanol. He added that heavy sea molasses should be discouraged and the industry should think about producing ethanol from broken rice as well.

The use of flexible engines in road construction machinery is another way to promote ethanol, the minister informed. “There has been an 80% increase in the manufacture of road construction machinery; I told them to stop using diesel engines and switch to flex engines, so that the use of ethanol can be encouraged.”

The minister added that biodegradable plastic has also been made from ethanol by Brazil, which can also be replicated in India.

The minister said the government was considering ways to increase the use of ethanol in the aviation sector and in the Indian Air Force. “I’m also exploring how to use ethanol in the aerospace industry. Two years ago, fighter jets participating in the Republic Day Parade used 100% bioethanol. I am in discussions with the chief of the Air Force and officials of the Ministry of Defense; we are considering how to increase the use of ethanol in aviation and the Indian air force.” We may also consider using ethanol in four lakh mobile telecom towers, a added the minister.

The minister pointed out that there is no other remedy for the sugar industry in India than to reduce sugar consumption and increase the conversion of sugar into ethanol. We need to move towards this at a rapid pace, he said.

We must move towards the green revolution, for which we must increase the production of ethanol, the minister said. “Total oil imports into our country are currently 8 trillion, which should become 25 trillion in the next 5 years. Now import 25 trillion in petroleum products will create economic hardship. Moreover, new problems will arise due to the influx of fossil fuels on such a scale. The minister therefore advocated for the use of ethanol and green fuels, citing the need to adopt cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous import alternatives. .

The Minister unequivocally underlined the urgent need to switch to green fuels and to diversify agriculture into the energy and electricity sector. He also said that LNG is the future fuel for the sector and for the country and the economics of LNG is so good that it is easy to convert biomass into bio-CNG and bio-LNG.

To subscribe to Mint Bulletins

* Enter a valid email address

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our app now!!

Rachel J. Bradford