The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Rajya Sabha that the Government is promoting biofuels, such as ethanol and bio-diesel, as substitutes of mineral fuels.
The Government, through Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), is implementing Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme under which, OMCs sell ethanol blended petrol with percentage of ethanol upto 10%, depending upon availability of ethanol, Pradhan said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Besides, the Government has opened second generation ethanol route (cellulosic and lignocellulosic route) for production of ethanol.
Also, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had announced a Bio-diesel Purchase Policy in October 2005, which became effective from 1.1.2006. On 10.8.2015, the Government has allowed the sale of Bio-diesel (B100) by private manufacturers to bulk consumers like Railways, State Transport Corporations and other bulk consumers.
Further, retailing of bio-diesel blended diesel by Oil Marketing Companies has started on World Biofuel Day, i.e., 10th August, 2015.
In its endeavour to take forward the biofuel programme, the Government is striving for achieving higher blend percentages. Steps initiated are:
(i) In September, 2015, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has asked OMCs to target ten per cent blending of ethanol in petrol in as many States as possible.
(ii) A Steering Committee has been constituted in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for regular consultations and monitoring.
(iii) Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been regularly taking up the matter with State Governments to address State specific issues relating to taxation, excise permits, import/export permits, storage license, etc.
(iv) A 2G ethanol demonstration plant of 10 Tonnes Per Day (TPD) capacity has been operationalised at Kashipur, Uttarakhand on 22.4.2016.