Asia Pulse. The Chinese government is defying criticism of its planned expansion of the use of ethanol in fuel, according to an official with the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC).
With government support (1,800 yuan (US$222) for every ton of ethanol sold), nine provinces plan to begin trials of ethanol blends by the end of this year. Critics of the policy worry about the impact on the grain supply and about the cost.
The SDRC official said that the state has set a clear goal of ethanol development for the next few years, with the total annual output to be controlled at about 5-7 million tons.
It is an irrevocable policy of the government to gradually expand and spread the use of fuel ethanol, he said.
At this rate of development, the official said, the total amount of grain needed will be about 15-21 million tons of grain, only about 5 per cent of the total grain output of the country. Furthermore, the government discourages the use of new grain. This small amount of grain used will in no way threaten the country’s food security.