AVAILABILITY OF ethanol-blended petrol in Madhya Pradesh has been delayed as oil marketing companies (OMCs) and ethanol manufacturing distilleries in Maharashtra are yet to agree on the procurement price.
The blended petrol, which was to be introduced in many states across the country by November 15, is at present available in only three States—Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Goa.
In these states, the OMCs have not only contracted ethanol at an ex-distillery price of Rs 21.50 per litre, but have also finalised the logistics of procurement, blending and distribution.
An official of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Bhopal regional office, told Hindustan Times that due to lack of availability of ethanol in the State, it would have to be procured from sugar mills in Maharashtra.
The OMCs will sign a three-year contract to ensure stable price and availability. “But no contracts have been signed as the companies and sugar mills are yet to agree on the ethanol pricing,” he said. “The prices have to be viable as the companies will also have to pay taxes on ethanol procurement to the state government.”
On the logistics involved, he said most of the preparations were complete and it would take about a week to start the distribution work once ethanol was made available. “Ethanol and petrol cannot be mixed at the refinery, as ethanol has a tendency to absorb moisture. So, ethanol will be transported in sealed containers and mixing will have to be done at individual depots.”
The OMCs had floated national tenders for anhydrous ethanol and opened the bids in different states in October. Sugar mills in Maharashtra have quoted a price of Rs 24.20 per litre of ethanol ex-distillery, which is higher than other states.
The oil companies are now trying to push for a uniform rate of Rs 21.50 per litre across the country and are hopeful that the programme will be fully in place by the end of this month.