Sugar industry: Maharashtra’s ethanol production expected to reach 140,000,000,000 liters next year: sugar industry representative

Sugar sector representatives have predicted that Maharashtra’s ethanol production will reach 140 crore liters in 2019. Future fuel consumption will exceed food demand.

“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.

Sugar factories produce ethanol. From December 1 to November 30 is its production cycle. In 2020-2021, Maharashtra produced 100.36 crore liters of ethanol at 78 plants.

Since December 2021, the state has generated 75.88 crore liters of ethanol through 85 companies, he added.

Next year’s production could reach 130 to 140 crore liters. It predicts 90 establishments producing ethanol.

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.

[With PTI inputs]

Rachel J. Bradford