India to issue 1st ethanol import tender soon - minister

NEW DELHI, March 24 Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:35am EDT

NEW DELHI, March 24 (Reuters) - India will shortly issue its first global tender to import ethanol for blending with gasoline, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.

India wants to achieve a target for gasoline to include 5 percent ethanol across the country by June 2013 and has asked fuel retailers to float tenders for the procurement of ethanol, Moily told reporters at a press conference.

In a local tender the country managed to procure only half of the 1 billion litres of ethanol required for blending with gasoline, he said.

"For the remaining quantity we are in the process of floating a global tender for import of ethanol ... shortly it will be issued," he said.

India consumed about 15 million tonnes of gasoline in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, according to government data.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Mark Potter)