• UNICA and SIAM launch the Ethanol Center of Excellence at the Auto Expo 2023

New Delhi, 13 January 2023: Strengthening bilateral ties between Brazil and India for the promotion of ethanol and its blends in the automotive sector, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Union Minister, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India launched the Virtual Center of Excellence (CoE), developed by the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) at the Auto Expo 2023, in the presence of distinguished delegates from UNICA and SIAM.

While addressing the august gathering, Hon’ble Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, extolled ethanol as the green fuel of the future in India. Mr. Puri congratulated SIAM and UNICA on the launch of the CoE and highlighted the announcement as an important milestone in the nation’s journey to achieving E20 by 2025.

The Virtual Center of Excellence (CoE) is a platform that highlights ethanol’s role as part of the solution in decarbonization. It aims to provide users with information on ethanol, biomass for bioenergy, and sustainability of biofuels, and provide stakeholders with relevant technological and policy initiatives that will smoothen India’s transition to low-carbon mobility.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bento Albuquerque, Ex-Minister of Mines & Energy, Brazil said, “It is exciting to see how fast the bioenergy and the automotive industries are evolving in our countries, Brazil and India and they should continue working together to promote global market development and offer sustainable, affordable, and reliable solutions for low carbon transportation. The India-Brazil Center of Excellence is a step in the right direction to transform this ambition into reality.”

Brazil is one of the largest producers of ethanol in the world and is home to the world’s largest fleet of cars that use ethanol as fuel. India also has a strong focus on biofuels and has brought forward by five years, to 2025, the goal of achieving a 20% ethanol blend in gasoline. India is the second largest sugar producer in the world, after Brazil, and has the potential to convert surplus sugar stocks into ethanol.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Eduardo Leão de Sousa, Executive Director, UNICA, said, “We are grateful for our partnership with SIAM that has been extremely fruitful in ensuring the success of the ethanol programme in India. We are extremely happy to dedicate the CoE to India and hope it helps all stakeholders in acquiring up-to-date information on technological advances, technical standards, regulations, public policies, and sustainability related to biomass and bioenergy. As always, we remain committed to India’s ethanol journey through our partnership with SIAM and other stakeholders.”

Mr. Vinod Aggarwal, President SIAM and MD & CEO Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, said that the launch of CoE will support and complement the governments’ efforts in promoting bioenergy, biofuels, and other bio-based fuels for low-carbon mobility in India and Brazil.

“We are truly ecstatic that SIAM and UNICA have taken an important step towards the initiation of the MoU we signed on earlier on ethanol cooperation through the launch of the CoE. We are confident that the CoE will help stakeholders understand ethanol and the available technologies to enable a smooth and efficient transition. We would like to thank UNICA for their support and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership,” Aggarwal said.

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