We had the privilege of speaking with Mr. SK Shukla, Business Head of India Glycols Ltd. and President of UP Distilleries Association (UPDA) to discuss the crucial role of Uttar Pradesh in India’s Ethanol Blending Program (EBP) and the contribution of India Glycols Ltd. Let’s delve into the details and understand the impact of this program on the state’s economy and its role in achieving the national ethanol blending targets.

India Glycols Ltd., headquartered in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, is a leading manufacturer of green technology-based bulk, specialty, and performance chemicals and natural gums, spirits, and glycols. India Glycols Ltd. has played a pivotal role in the production and supply of ethanol, making significant contributions to Uttar Pradesh’s ethanol blending initiatives.

Q: Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Shukla. Could you provide us with an overview of India Glycols Ltd. and its involvement in the Ethanol Blending Program in Uttar Pradesh?

Mr. Shukla: Certainly. India Glycols Ltd. is a renowned company known for its expertise in green technology-based chemicals. Our Gorakhpur plant has been actively involved in the production of ethanol, which is a key component of the Ethanol Blending Program. We have been working closely with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to support their initiatives and address the challenges faced by sugarcane farmers and sugar mills.

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Q: To begin, could you explain how the cooperation and implementation of Uttar Pradesh have been pivotal in the Government of India’s schemes, particularly the Ethanol Blending Program?

Mr. Shukla: Uttar Pradesh’s collaboration has always been vital in any scheme of the Government of India. In the case of the Ethanol Blending Program, Uttar Pradesh’s active participation has transformed it into one of the country’s significant economic initiatives. The state has worked in tandem with the central government to formulate favorable policies for ethanol production, resulting in the establishment of 64 operational units within Uttar Pradesh. These policies have provided benefits across sectors, including the sugar mills.

Q: Ethanol is synonymous with alcohol, but its purpose goes beyond that. Could you elaborate on the significance of ethanol and how it contributes to safeguarding foreign exchange reserves and combating environmental pollution?

Mr. Shukla: Absolutely! Ethanol, often associated with alcohol, plays a crucial role in various aspects. Apart from its historical use in beverages and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, ethanol now serves as a key component of the EBP scheme. The program ensures ethanol is blended with petrol, reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and mitigating environmental pollution. Additionally, by actively utilizing ethanol, we safeguard our foreign exchange reserves by reducing the import of petroleum products.

Q: In terms of production, what are the numbers reflecting Uttar Pradesh’s contribution to ethanol production?

Mr. Shukla: In the financial year 2022-23, Uttar Pradesh produced a staggering 153.71 crore liters of ethanol. The state boasts a total production capacity of 244.46 crore liters, with a significant proportion derived from B-heavy molasses. Notably, 89.30 crore liters of ethanol were produced from B-heavy molasses alone. This production strategy has proven effective in addressing surplus sugar stock challenges faced by sugar mills. Similar methods have been adopted by Brazil, emphasizing the importance of ethanol production over sugar production.

Q: Could you shed light on the diverse sources of ethanol manufacturing in Uttar Pradesh and their respective contributions?

Mr. Shukla: Uttar Pradesh has embraced a multi-pronged approach to ethanol production. While B-heavy molasses remains a primary source, accounting for substantial ethanol production, we have also witnessed remarkable manufacturing from cane juice, sugar syrup, and grains. Sugar mills have produced 30.75 crore liters of ethanol directly from cane juice, which provides a cost-effective and profitable alternative. However, it is worth noting that molasses and sugar syrup-based ethanol manufacturing falls short of meeting the demand. Therefore, the state government has been actively promoting grain-based alcohol production.

Q: It’s intriguing to see the variety of ethanol sources being utilized. Could you share some statistics regarding the distribution and export of ethanol from Uttar Pradesh?

Mr. Shukla: Uttar Pradesh stands out as a major ethanol manufacturer, supplying not only to the state’s petroleum depots but also to other states across the country. In the financial year 2022-23, a remarkable 148.38 crore liters of ethanol were sold by Uttar Pradesh’s units.

He further adds “U.P.is a leading manufacturer of ethanol, supplying it to other states and achieving the government’s target of ethanol blending. Several companies have signed MoUs for establishing ethanol units in Uttar Pradesh, making it a promising destination for ethanol production