NEW DELHI: The government plans to launch two pilot projects in Assam and Maharashtra wherein it would operate a total of 20 Mercedes-Benz buses fuelled by methanol as part of efforts to promote alternative fuels, a top official said today.
The plans for the launch were discussed in a group of ministers (GoM) meeting on methanol today, chaired by Road Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Projects were discussed in detail to boost methanol production in the country besides its promotion, the official said adding methanol can reduce India’s crude oil imports by 20 per cent.
“The government is considering to launch two pilot projects to promote methanol. The projects being planned to launch in Maharashtra and Assam will see running of a fleet of 10 buses each in both the states, fuelled by methanol,” the official said.
The official added that the projects would be sponsored by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The petroleum ministry is also looking at the possibilities of a methanol policy, the official said.
Apart from Gadkari, the meeting was attended by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant Geete and Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar. Officials from various ministries including Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat were also present in the meeting.
The government has already constituted a task force to study the feasibility of producing methanol from coal and using coal gas as a replacement for natural gas.