The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved higher ethanol price derived from different sugarcane-based raw materials under the EBP Programme for the forthcoming sugar season 2022-23. The meeting was chaired by chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The forthcoming Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2022-23 season starts from December 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023. As per the new approvals, the price of ethanol from C-heavy molasses route has been increased from ₹46.66 per litre to ₹49.41 per litre, the price of ethanol from B-heavy molasses route be increased from ₹59.08 per litre to ₹60.73 per litre and the price of ethanol from sugarcane juice, sugar, sugar syrup route be increased from ₹63.45 per litre to ₹65.61 per litre. Additionally, GST and transportation charges will also be payable.
As per the officials, all distilleries will be able to take benefit of the scheme and large number of them, are expected to supply ethanol for the EBP programme. Remunerative price to ethanol suppliers will help in early payment to cane farmers, in the process contributing to minimize difficulty of sugarcane farmers.
The government has been implementing Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme, wherein OMCs sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10%. This programme has been extended to whole of India, except Union Territories of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands, with effect from April 1, 2019, to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels.
This intervention also seeks to reduce import dependence for energy requirements and give boost to agriculture sector. Government has notified administered price of ethanol since 2014. For the first time during 2018, differential price of ethanol based on feed stock utilized for ethanol production was announced by the Government.
These decisions have significantly improved the supply of ethanol, consequently ethanol procurement by Public Sector OMCs has increased from 38 crore litre in Ethanol Supply Year 2013-14 (ESY – currently defined as ethanol supply period from December 1 of a year to November 30 of the following year) to contracts of over 452 crore litre in ongoing ESY 2021-22.
The target of achieving average 10% blending has been achieved in June 2022, much ahead of the target date of November 2022. The government has advanced the target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol from earlier 2030 to ESY 2025-26 and a “Roadmap for ethanol blending in India 2020-25” has been put in public domain.
Other recent enablers include: enhancement of ethanol distillation capacity to 923 crore litre per annum; Long Term Off-take Agreements (LTOAs) to encourage setting up of 431 crore litre per annum capacity of Dedicated Ethanol Plants (DEPs) in ethanol deficit States by private players which is expected to bring in investments of ₹25,000 to ₹30,000 crores in coming years; multimodal transportation of ethanol and ethanol blended petrol by railways and pipelines.
Government has taken many decisions for reduction of cane farmer’s dues including diversion of sugar and sugar-based feedstock for production of ethanol. Now, as, large quantity of ethanol is available right from the beginning of sugar season due to conversion of sugarcane juice and B heavy molasses to ethanol, it has been decided to redefine Ethanol Supply Year as a period of ethanol supply from November 1 of a year to October 31 of the following year from November 1, 2023, onwards.
Moreover, as the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane and ex-mill price of sugar have undergone changes, there is a need to revise the ex-mill price of ethanol derived from different sugarcane-based feed stocks, officials said.