NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said on Friday that he will consult with NITI Aayog and ask the petroleum ministry to set up ethanol pumps across the country to save on import bills and improve the financial condition of cane farmers.
The size of the ethanol market is pegged at Rs 11,000 crore, which would go up to Rs 20,000 crore by the end of this fiscal. “We want the ethanol economy to grow Rs 2 lakh crore in size. This would reduce pressure on our crude import bills. Promotion of biofuels like ethanol and butanol will increase earnings of cane farmers,” the minister said.
Gadkari also backed the production of butanol for the aviation industry. “Use of butanol in aircraft is a win-win situation for everyone. It has the capability to replace Rs 40,000 crore we spend on importing aviation petroleum (ATF). And being cheaper and more efficient than ATF, it would increase the earnings of airlines,” he said.