Gadkari asks sugar producers to increase ethanol production

Mumbai, March 20 : on Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Sunday asked the sugar producers to increase the conversion of sugar into ethanol for the sustainable growth of the sugar industry. Addressing the Sugar and Ethanol India Conference (SEIC) here, the minister said that if the sugar production goes beyond what it is currently, it will be difficult for the industry in the times to come. “Reduce sugar production and increase conversion to ethanol; this is necessary to keep sugar industry in good health. If sugar production goes ahead, as it does now, it will be harmful for the industry in the times to come,” Gadkari said. As India is a rice-surplus, corn-surplus and sugar-surplus country, the minister said, “what is good for our future is to reduce production of sugar and increase production of ethanol.” He informed that the government has decided to open biofuel outlets for citizens to fill ethanol and that cars, scooters, motor cycles and rickshaws can be available on flex engine. Gadkari exhorted all sugar factories who manufacture ethanol to open ethanol pumps in their factories and other areas. “This can bring in 100 per cent ethanol-run scooters, auto rickshaws and cars and thus increase ethanol consumption, reduce pollution, bring down imports and also provide jobs to people in villages,” he said, adding that there will definitely be a big enough market for ethanol. “Ethanol is a green and clean fuel; we are producing 465 crore litres of ethanol at present. However, when E-20 programme gets completed, our requirement will become around 1,500 crore litres. Moreover, in coming five years, when flex engines get ready, ethanol requirement will become 4,000 crore litres. Hence, if you do not convert to ethanol and keep producing sugar, the factory will become loss-making,” he cautioned the producers. PSK SHK1648

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