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Government Working to Introduce Ethanol in Agriculture & Construction Equipment: Gadkari

On Saturday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari emphasized the importance of switching to alternative fuels such as ethanol and stated that efforts are on to incorporate ethanol into construction and agricultural equipment.

Kritika Madhukar
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

According to the Union road transport and highway minister, the country imports petroleum products worth Rs. 10 lakh crores to cover the needs of the energy and power sectors, and the need could rise to Rs. 25 lakh crores in the next five years, posing a threat to the economy.

Gadkari was addressing the Vasantdada Sugar Institute's state-level Sugar Conference 2022 in Pune. Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra's deputy chief minister, and Sharad Pawar, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), were also in attendance.

"Alternative energy is the way of the future." After electric scooters, automobiles, and buses, electric tractors and trucks will be available soon. "These will be launched soon," Gadkari added.

"The growth in sugar consumption across the globe is transient," the minister stated, emphasizing the necessity to shift from sugar to ethanol production. Brazil manufactures ethanol from sugarcane as the price of crude oil rises to $140 per barrel, increasing India's demand for sugar. 

Brazil begins manufacturing sugar when the price of crude oil falls from $70 to $80 per barrel." Sugar prices will fall dramatically when crude oil prices fall, he predicted.

Gadkari also requested that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to install ethanol pumps in Pune to assist farmers in selling the fuel directly to consumers.

"In our country, we have chosen to add 20% ethanol to gasoline." As a result, 1,000 crore liters of ethanol will be required. Our sugar mills don't have the capacity to produce that much ethanol. 

Sugarcane prices are unlikely to fall in the near future, but sugar prices could rise. As a result, it is past time for the sugar sector to move to ethanol. "We need to speak with the petroleum minister and figure something out," the minister stated.

The NCP chief stated at the occasion that the area under sugarcane will rise in the future, hence, harvesting of the crop should be planned at the start of the season.

"Sugarcane harvesting and transportation has become a severe problem. He stated that "the Sugar Commissionerate and sugar factories should have suitable strategies in place and strictly implement them."

Pawar went on to say that the central government must make strategic decisions to boost ethanol storage capacity and that oil companies' policies must be more favorable in terms of investment, rail transportation planning, and fuel procurement.

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