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Lift restriction on production of ethanol: Sugar industry

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Nov 21 (UNI) To help produce more ethanol, a major source of bio-fuel that was now allowed by the Centre to be mixed with petrol, the State Governments should disband restrictions on its production and draft a committed ethanol policy, South Indian Sugar Mills Association Karnataka President M Srinivaasan said today.

Speaking to newspersons here in connection with the AGM of the Association, he said various States were now allowed five per cent blending of ethanol with petrol. However, States like Karnataka, despite having a much larger capacity, had barred its export to other States, leading to drastic cut in the production.

Mr Srinivaasan said this would not only help find a better alternative to fossil fuel, but also help the industry, both in cooperative and the private sector, that would in turn help farmers get better price for sugarcane.

''We can save more foreign exchange on importing crude oil by stepping up the production of ethanol. However, there are many restrictions. For example, Karnataka produces more than eight lakh tonnes of molasses, of which ethanol is a by-product, but uses less than half of it to produce ethanol, rectified spirit and alcohol.

All these by products should be opened up for exports both outside the State as well as to foreign countries,'' he opined.

Brazil was using 25 per cent of ethanol to be mixed with both petrol and diesel, compared to five per cent in India. The country had made a modest beginning, but should take a leaf out of Brazil's success story and promote more production of ethanol, he said.

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