Ethanol Current Affairs - 2019

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CCEA hikes ethanol procurement price for fuel blending

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to increase price of ethanol procured by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) for one year starting December 2019. It also increased price of ethanol derived from C heavy molasses from Rs 43.46 a litre to Rs 43.75 per litre, and for B heavy molasses to Rs 54.27 per litre from Rs 52.43 earlier. It also has fixed price of ethanol from sugar, sugarcane juice, sugar syrup route at Rs 59.48 per litre. The increased prices have been approved for the forthcoming 2019-20 sugar season and will be applicable from 1 December 2019 to 30 November 2020.

Background

Union Government is implementing Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme wherein Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10%. This programme was extended to whole of India except UTs of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands with effect from April 2019 to promote use of alternative and environment friendly fuels. This intervention also seeks to give boost to agriculture sector and reduce import dependence for energy requirements.

Government had notified administered price of ethanol since 2014 and since 2018 Government for first time announced differential price of ethanol based on raw material for ethanol production. These decisions have significantly improved supply of ethanol and also ethanol procurement by Public Sector OMCs has increased from 38 crore litre in ethanol supply year 2013-14 to estimated over 200 crore litre in 2018-19. Government has taken multiple steps to limit sugar production in the Country and to increase domestic production of ethanol. These steps include allowing diversion of B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for ethanol production.

Initiatives to promote e-vehicles

The following initiatives have been taken to promote e-vehicles in the country:

  • The government has granted an exemption to Battery Operated Transport Vehicles and Transport Vehicles running on Ethanol and Methanol fuels from the requirement of a permit.
  • The Ministry of the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has launched FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) to incentivize the production and promotion of eco-friendly vehicles including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
  • To incentivise the development of charging infrastructure for e-vehicles the Ministry of Power has issued a policy statement on charging infrastructure and has issued a notification clarifying that charging electric vehicles will be a service, not a sale of electricity.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has agreed to commercialize indigenously developed lithium-ion battery technology and has selected 14 companies for transfer of technology.
  • The government think tank, NITI Aayog has taken an initiative to provide a Model Concessionaire Agreement (MCA) document for introducing Electric-Bus Fleet in Cities for Public Transportation on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode on Operational Expenditure (per km basis) Model rather than paying the upfront capital cost.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has made amendment in the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) guidelines to provide for electric vehicle charging stations in private and commercial buildings.

The government of India even has a plan of converting the entire new fleet of vehicles to fully electric by 2030.