New Delhi (Sputnik) — India aims to set up 12 biofuel refineries in a bid to reduce oil imports by $1.74 billion through an increased use of biofuels, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.
The South Asian nation, which imports up to 80 percent of its oil needs, will spend $1.5 billion on setting up these refineries that are expected to employ around 15,000 people. Prime Minister Modi said that ethanol blending helped the country save $597 million last year.
"We will produce 450 crore liters of ethanol in the next four years from the existing 141 crore liters. It will result in import savings of $1.74 billion," Modi said while addressing an event in New Delhi to mark World Biofuel Day.
The Indian government, in May this year, approved a new policy expanding the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing the use of sugarcane juice, sugar-containing materials like sugar beet, sweet sorghum, starch-containing materials like corn, cassava, damaged foodgrains like wheat, broken rice, and rotten potatoes that are unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.