Puri reaffirms 20% ethanol blending target by 2025

New Delhi: Hardeep Singh Puri, who has been reappointed as the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas in the new government, took charge of his office on Tuesday and reiterated the Modi government’s firm commitment to achieving the target of 20 per cent ethanol blending in fuel by 2025. The minister also highlighted the significant progress made in May, when the country crossed the 15 per cent ethanol blending milestone.

“The Prime Minister had originally set a target of 20 per cent blending by 2030,” Minister Puri stated. “Based on our current progress and ongoing work, I am confident that we will achieve the 20 per cent blending target by 2025, which was brought forward from 2030,” he added. After assuming his new role, Puri emphasized India’s successful management of the energy trilemma—ensuring energy availability, affordability, and sustainability—during a period when other nations, including developed countries, faced energy rationing, fuel shortages, and soaring prices. He noted that India is possibly the only country where fuel prices have decreased over the past two and a half years.

The minister also pointed out the significant increase in LPG connections from 14 crores in 2014, with only 55 per cent of the population having access, to 32 crores now, attributing this success to the Ujjwala scheme. In terms of exploration and production, Puri announced that oil production from the 98/2 well will soon increase to 45,000 barrels per day, with gas production also set to commence shortly.

He mentioned that ONGC has invited international oil and gas majors with annual revenues above $75 billion to participate in a tender for a technology partnership in the western offshore region.

Integrating green hydrogen into the refining process is another area of focus, with the PNG minister announcing the upcoming installation of green hydrogen plants at refineries in Panipat, Mathura, and Paradeep. He also mentioned the commissioning of the first green hydrogen plant on 27th May 2024, and establishing a green hydrogen station at Kochi for buses serving the Kochi Airport.

Looking ahead to upcoming projects in the refining sector, Puri informed that BPCL is in an advanced stage of setting up greenfield refineries. At the same time, GAIL plans to establish an ethane cracker unit for petrochemicals. He also mentioned the upcoming Bina refinery by BPCL and the Cauvery Basin Refinery by IOCL in Chennai.

Meanwhile, the minister’s statements reflect the government’s continued efforts to enhance India’s energy security, promote sustainable practices, and maintain affordable fuel prices for its citizens.

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