K’taka to be country’s largest producer of ethanol soon: Bommai

Karnataka would emerge as the country’s largest producer of ethanol in the coming days, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Friday.

In his address at a seminar on ‘Ethanol Production in Karnataka’ organised by the S. Nijalingappa Sugar Institute, Belagavi and Bquest Consultancy and Engineering Pvt Ltd, he said that in the state, 32 sugar factories are producing ethanol, while another 60 are at various stages of getting clearances to start production.

The state government is formulating an Ethanol Policy, he added.

Special incentives would be provided by the state and Union governments for ethanol production, which would see a huge increase in the next one and a half years in the light of the Centre’s decision to raise the ethanol blending in petrol to 20 per cent, Bommai said, noting that ethanol could be produced from not only sugarcane, but from paddy, jowar, and wheat husk too.

“The world is moving towards clean energy, renewable energy. More research is needed on ethanol production and usage. Hydrogen is emerging as a major source of green energy. About 43 per cent of renewable energy in the country is being produced in Karnataka,” he said.

The state government has signed 3 MoUs for production of green energy involving a massive investment flow of Rs 1.30 lakh crores. It includes production of ammonia from sea water. These initiatives would give a big push for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission to make India Atma Nirbhar in the energy sector and help in making India a $5 Trillion economy, Bommai said.

Sugar factories are contributing in a big way for Karnataka’s economy. The 72 sugar factories in the state have provided employment for lakhs of people, and raised the income of farmers, he said.

The Union government’s decision to raise the ethanol blending in fossil fuels for vehicles would not only save precious foreign exchange for the country, but would help the cause of environment protection too, Bommai said.

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