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More than 9300 E20 retailers in India: Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

India has witnessed a robust GDP growth of 7.7% in the first half of the current fiscal year, announced Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs. The minister highlighted the significant correlation between growth and energy consumption in the Indian context, noting the country’s position as the world’s third-largest energy consumer. This includes being the third-largest consumer of oil and LPG, the fourth-largest importer of LNG, the fourth-largest refiner, and the fourth-largest automobile market globally.

In a media interaction today, Puri detailed the government’s initiatives to enhance India’s Exploration & Production (E&P) sector. Notably, the “No Go” areas in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have been significantly reduced by almost 99%, freeing up nearly 10 lakh square kilometers for E&P activities. The total operational area under various schemes is now 3.27 lakh square kilometers.

The minister emphasized the economic and environmental benefits of Ethanol blending during the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2022-23, which saved approximately 509 crore liters of petrol. This resulted in a foreign exchange saving of over Rs. 24,300 crore and timely payments of about Rs.19,300 crore to farmers, along with a net CO2 reduction of 108 lakh metric tonnes.

Puri also noted that over 9300 retail outlets are currently selling E20, with plans to expand nationwide by 2025. He spoke about the Compressed Biogas (CBG) blending Obligation (CBO), which will be voluntary until FY 2024-2025 and mandatory from FY 2025-26 onwards.

India’s leadership in the global biofuels market was underscored by the successful launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) in September 2023 and its promotion at COP 28 in December 2023. The GBA forms a crucial part of India’s sustainability agenda and its participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2024.

The government’s commitment to increasing the share of natural gas in India’s primary energy mix from 6.3% to 15% was reaffirmed by Puri. An estimated investment of $67 billion in natural gas infrastructure over the next 5-6 years is expected to triple gas consumption by 2030.

Puri concluded by highlighting the expansion of the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network since May 2014, which includes a significant increase in the number of CGD networks, PNG connections, and CNG stations. The CGD coverage has remarkably grown both in terms of population and area, with the recent launch of the 12th CGD Bidding Round set to cover the remaining areas and populations.

Achievements of India’s Ethanol Blending Programme-

Foreign exchange savings (2014-2023)Rs.78,118 crore
CO2 emissions lowered (2014-2023)426 lakh MT
Crude Oil substitution achieved (2014-2023)142 lakh MT
Amount paid to the distillers by OMCs (2014-2023)Rs.1,15,623 crore
Amount paid to the farmers (2014-2023)Rs.69,374 crore
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