Story link:



  Ethanol blended auto fuel debuts

Petrol blended with 5% ethanol came to the market today at Gokavaram near Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh. The debut comes after year long trials in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to evaluate technologies and verify whether deliveries are scalable country-wide. The Government has now mandated that petrol has to be blended with 5% of ethanol in nine states: AP, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and UP with effect from Jan 1,2003. In the second phase, the whole country will be covered and in the third, ethanol content will go up 10%.

The implication of this move is enormous for India whose petrol consumption is nearly 8 million kiloLitres- and growing. Dependance on imports and its effect on national security are enormous. Simultaneously, the decontrol of sugar industry and unrestricted imports from global markets was threatening farmers and sugar mills. Cane is cultivated throughout India. Finally, ethanol blends are marginally less polluting. So the change will lead to a win-win situation.