State-owned fuel retailing firms have received an "overwhelming" response to the tender they floated for buying ethanol for mixing in petrol, a government statement said on Saturday.
"The first Expression of Interest (EOI) for signing long-term agreement with upcoming dedicated ethanol plants for supply of ethanol has received an overwhelming response, with 197 bidders participating in the same," it said without giving details of the quantity ethanol manufacturers have committed to supply.
The EOI was published by Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) on behalf of oil marketing companies on August 27, and it opened on September 17.
"The bids are currently under evaluation," it said.
The oil companies floated the tender to buy ethanol for progressively raising the percentage of ethanol mixed in petrol to 20 per cent (80 per cent petrol, 20 per cent ethanol).
The statement said 173 crore litre ethanol was procured last year and 5 per cent blending was achieved during ethanol supply year(ESY) 2019-20 (December 2019 to November 2020). The target for ongoing year ESY-2020-21 (December 2020 to November 2021) is 325 crore litre which will take the blending to 8.5 per cent.
Actual achievement during ESY - 2020-21 so far has been 243 crore litre, accounting for 8.01 per cent blending, it said.