India’s average blending rate for ethanol in gasoline is expected to reach a record 5.8%, up from a previous record 4.1% last year and considerably higher than historical levels, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in its India: Biofuels Annual 2019 report.
A surplus sugar season coupled with a stronger incentive to convert excess sugar to ethanol is helping the oil-marketing companies (OMCs) procure upwards of 2.4 billion liters (634 million gallons US) this year.
An upsurge in demand for the ethanol blending program (EBP) and consequent tight supply for industrial and potable use will encourage ethanol imports (mostly denatured) to grow 19% year-over-year to a record 750 million liters, according to the report.
The biodiesel market remains nearly nonexistent due to limited access to feedstock limited production capacity, a rudimentary supply chain, and import restrictions, the report said.
India’s current aspirational blend goal for fuel ethanol is E10 by 2022, and there is no near-term blend target for biodiesel. Introduced last year, India’s National Biofuel Policy 2018 seeks to achieve a national average of E20 for gasoline and B5 for diesel by 2030.