“These 62 companies together are producing 82,250 litres of hand sanitiser on a daily basis,” a senior UP sugarcane department official said here today.
So far, these units have collectively manufactured 0.54 million litres of hand sanitiser, of which nearly 290,000 litres, corresponding to almost a million packed units, have already been supplied in the market.
Earlier, the UP based private sugar mills had started to apply for the necessary licenses to manufacture hand sanitiser at their captive distilleries. These include all the major private millers viz. Balrampur Chini, Birla, Dalmia, Dhampur, Uttam etc.
Acknowledging the surging demand and the consequent short supply in the market, the Yogi Adityanath government had simultaneously speeded up the process of granting licenses, while exempting the movement of both industrial input and finished products related to hand sanitiser.
While, some sugar companies are presently producing bulk quantities of hand sanitiser for supplying to other firms for bottling and marketing, some mills have firmed up contracts to supply ethanol/ethyl alcohol/extra neutral alcohol (ENA) to other sanitiser units inside and outside the state.
Last month, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) had written to the Centre assuring that the domestic sugar industry would supply adequate quantities of ethanol or extra neutral alcohol (ENA) according to the requirement for use in the manufacture of hand sanitisers.
While, hand sanitisers are generally manufactured with isopropyl alcohol (IPA), they have been found equally effective if made from ethanol/ethyl alcohol/ENA, which are essentially sugar byproducts.
Recently, ISMA director general Abinash Verma had told Business Standard that the central and states’ departments, including sugar, excise, drug controllers, had worked in perfect synergy, which had resulted in speedier sanctions of licenses for the hand sanitiser manufacturing in India.
In the backdrop of rising sugarcane arrears, the additional supply of ethanol and hand sanitiser by the private mills have opened up another revenue stream for them even as the 21 day nationwide lockdown to control coronavirus ends on April 14, with strong indications of it being extended gaining currency following the spurt in positive cases across the states.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government is boosting the private manufacturing of the various personal protection equipment (PPE) products, including masks etc by facilitating the reopening of such units.