India Hits 12% Ethanol-Petrol Blend Target

India successfully met its target of blending 12% ethanol with petrol for the ethanol supply year, which concludes in October 2023, according to Oil Minister HS Puri. The government had set a target of 12% ethanol blending with petrol for the year 2022?23 (December 2022?October 2023). The goal for the following year, 2023?24 (November 2023?October 2024), is 15%.

Puri announced this achievement while launching reference fuels produced by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), a state-run refining and marketing giant. The government has expedited efforts to reach a target of 20% biofuel blending by 2025, moving it up from the original goal of 2030. E20 blended fuel is already being sold at over 5,000 petrol retail outlets, contributing significantly to emissions reduction.

Puri also highlighted the interest in producing ethanol from maize, alongside sugar-based producers, and expressed confidence that India will easily achieve the 20% blending target by the end of 2025.

The percentage of ethanol blended with petrol by oil marketing companies (OMCs) temporarily decreased to 11.72% in August due to feedstock availability issues, particularly the discontinuation of Food Corporation of India (FCI) rice in July 2023. This led to supply constraints and operational disruptions in grain-based distilleries.

For the year 2022?23, OMCs tendered for 5.997 billion litres of ethanol, with letters of intent (LoIs) issued for 5.6445 billion litres as of August 2023.

Additionally, Indian Oil’s indigenous development of reference fuels, meeting Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) specifications, is poised to reduce reliance on imports and benefit the domestic automobile industry for vehicle calibration and testing. This development is expected to make India a significant exporter of reference fuels in the future.