Ethanol produced from molasses in the country is primarily used for supply under Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme. During last three ethanol years (December-November) i.e. 2015-2016, 2016-2017 & 2017-2018, ethanol supplies under EBP have been respectively 111 crore litres, 66.5 crore litres and 151 crore litres. During current ethanol year 2018-2019; contracts for supply of about 235 crore litres of ethanol have so far been finalized.
As indicated in reply to part (a) above, the production and supply of ethanol during last ethanol year i.e. 2017-2018 was about 151 crore litres as against the required target of 314 crore litres. The shortfall has been mainly due to shortage of ethanol production capacity in the country. The fuel grade ethanol has specified purity level of 96.6% or above. For the purpose of blending, there is no difference between the ethanol produced either from molasses or directly from sugarcane juice.
As per National Policy on Bio-Fuels -2018, fuel grade ethanol is now allowed to be produced directly from sugarcane juice. Suitable amendments to this effect have also been made in the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 vide Notification No. S.O. 3663(E)/Ess.Com./Sugarcane dated 26.07.2018. As per information available in this Department, M/s Shree Tatyasaheb Kore Warana Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Limited, Maharashtra and M/s Shree Renuka Sugars Limited, Athani, Karnataka are producing ethanol directly from sugarcane juice.
Under the Scheme for Extending Financial Assistance to Sugar Mills for Enhancement & Augmentation of Ethanol Production Capacity, 114 proposals for enhancement/augmentation of ethanol production capacity have been accorded in-principle approval for availing loan from banks amounting to Rs. 6139.08 Crore for which interest subvention of Rs. 1332 Crore shall be borne by the Government. Besides, the Government has also notified remunerative price @ Rs. 43.46/litre for supply of ethanol produced from C-Heavy molasses under EBP. Separately, remunerative prices for ethanol produced from B-Heavy molasses and sugarcane juice have also been fixed @ Rs. 52.43/litre and Rs. 59.13/litre respectively.