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India slaps rules on biodiesel imports

Products affected include ethyl alcohol, denatured spirits, and petroleum oils.

The Indian Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has imposed new restrictions on biofuels imports including ethyl alcohol and other denatured spirits, biodiesel (containing less than 70% of petroleum oils), petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals other than crude (containing 70% or more of petroleum oils). Previously free, the import of these items will now solely be allowed for non-fuel purpose on actual user basis as per the National Biofuel Policy.

In May 2018, the government adopted a new national policy on biofuels to prop up their use, according to which the blending of ethanol produced from damaged food grains, rotten potatoes, corn and sugar beet is now authorized. Previously, only ethanol produced from sugar cane was allowed to be mixed in the domestic petrol. The new policy introduces a new classification system that defines first-generation biofuels (bio-ethanol from molasses and bio-diesel from non-edible oil seeds), second-generation biofuels (from municipal solid waste) and third-generation biofuels (bio-CNG) biofuels and details new incentives for each of them.

India plans to triple its ethanol production from 1.4 to 4.5 billion litres by 2022, in order to reduce oil imports by INR 12,000 crore (US$1.7bn) and plans on adopting a B10 target (10% ethanol blending) by 2020 and a B20 (20% blending) by 2030.

This article was originally published by Enerdata.

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