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Brazil’s UNICA to fuel India’s Ethanol program aimed at building a low-carbon economy

Brazil’s UNICA to fuel India’s Ethanol program aimed at building a low-carbon economy

Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), has extended technical cooperation for the adoption of Ethanol in India as an alternative fuel solution for mobility. The two nations, India and Brazil, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the use of biofuels, at the backdrop of the Brazilian president, Mr. Jair Bolsonaro’s India visit on Republic Day. The MoU involves the exchange of information on the production and sustainable use of biofuels. It aims to strengthen investments by extending support in creating favorable policies and regulations in India for biofuels, bioelectricity, and biogas.

This step will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in India but also help redirect the sugar surplus in India, which currently requires government subsidies to guarantee competitive prices in the international market.

India has the potential to become one of the largest Ethanol producers in the world due to its large-scale sugarcane production. The country has set an Ethanol blending target of 10 percent by 2022 and 20 percent by 2030. To help India make this transition, Brazil aims to facilitate an exchange of experiences, knowledge, innovations, and technologies that will enable India to increase the production of Ethanol fuel. Acceptance of Ethanol as an alternative fuel will reduce India’s dependence on crude oil imports, ensure energy security and generate local jobs and income.

Commenting on the India and Brazil cooperation for the Ethanol Program, Mr. Eduardo Leão de Sousa, Executive Director of UNICA says “Government of India’s interest in pursuing biofuel production to support energy security is a considerable step in the right direction. With the strengthening of the Ethanol program, India is slated to have large economic and environmental benefits. India has been dealing with the challenges of pollution for the longest time. By introducing mandatory rules enabling the blend of Ethanol fuel in cars, the country will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions significantly. We hope that with Brazil’s 40 years of expertise in Ethanol, India will be in a position to achieve its bioenergy goals and create an ecosystem for a sustainable future”. 

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Brazil and the United States account for 75 percent of bioethanol produced in the world. In 2018-19, Brazil produced 621 million tonnes of sugarcane, of which it produced 33 billion liters of Ethanol. The country blends 27% Ethanol in gasoline that provides a 20% reduction in GHG emissions per kilometer driven compared to pure petrol. UNICA aims to play a leading role in the consolidation of the Brazilian sugarcane industry as a modern agro-industrial complex equipped to participate in sustainability initiatives, in Brazil, India and globally, as suppliers of Ethanol, sugar, and bioelectricity.

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