NEW DELHI: In a bid to reduce dependence on the huge import of petroleum products, the Central government has decided to launch flex engines in India.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said on Saturday that the need to diversify the agriculture sector toward the energy and power sectors is necessary because the nation spends Rs 15 lakh crore annually on petroleum product imports.
Speaking at the felicitation programme of the National Cogeneration Awards 2022 in Mumbai, the minister exhorted the industry of the significant need to focus on alternative fuels with the help of futuristic technologies.
"The industry should produce less sugar and generate more by-products, embracing the vision for futuristic technologies and using the power of leadership to convert knowledge into wealth, so as to enable the farmers to become not only food growers, but energy producers as well," Gadkari said.
"While 65–70% of our people are reliant on agriculture, the sector's growth rate is only 12–13%. Our industry's growth engine is the farmers and sugarcane industry. Cogeneration should be the next step to boost sugar sales.
The minister stated that even though we needed 280 lakh tonnes of sugar this year, more than 360 lakh tonnes of sugar were produced.
"Given the situation in Brazil, this might be useful. However, due to the huge demand for ethanol, we must divert production in that direction. We've taken a lot of steps to increase ethanol production; the capacity for last year was 400 crore litres. The moment has come for the industry to forecast ethanol demand using tools like bioethanol-powered generators, Gadkari added.
The government has decided to introduce flex engines in India, the minister also informed the industry.