‘Sugar industry should focus on carbon credit trading’

New Delhi, April 29 (Inditop) Indian sugar industry has the potential to save millions of dollars annually by engaging in carbon credit trading and focussing on ethanol production, a top government official said here Wednesday.

“Given the scale of the sugar enterprises in India, the industry should come up in a big way to encash the potential of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) trading,” Heavy Industries Secretary S.N. Dash said.

He was speaking at a national seminar on indian sugar machinery industry, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

CERs or carbon credits are generated by enterprises in the developing world that shift to cleaner technologies and thereby save on energy consumption. For each tonne of carbon dioxide emission avoided, the entity can get a carbon emission certificate which they can sell to firms in developed countries.

At present, about 930 carbon credit projects are in the Indian carbon trade basket, while 160-180 such projects are likely to be added every year.

While india has so far earned $300 million from carbon credit trade, it has the capacity to gross $100 billion, Dash said.

“The industry can also make significant contribution in meeting the national power requirements through ethanol production and hence reduce the nation’s dependence on petrochemicals,” he added.

In 2008, 10 percent ethanol blending with petrol was permitted.

Dash said the sugar industry, which witnessed a steady 35 percent growth in the last five years, has established its credentials in the overseas market by virtue of its quality.

The industry has a turnover of Rs.700 billion ($14 billion) per annum and contributes about Rs.22.5 billion to the central and state exchequers every year.

Sidharh Shriram, chairman of Mawana Sugars Ltd, has said the industry holds the potential for CER trading through energy efficiency along with increased exports and imports.

“Therefore the industry should come up with a roadmap for 20-25 years and get all stakeholders to subscribe to it. This will see active participation from the industry and government to achieve greater global heights,” Shriram said.