By Bikash Singh, ET Bureau | Sep 28, 2018, 08.49 PM IST
Public sector unit Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) will launch a pilot project on October 5 to assess the feasibility of using methanol as a cooking fuel. The move is a part an initiative by the country’s premier think tank, Niti Aayog, to promote use of methanol.
“We will launch the pilot project to assess the feasibility of methanol as an alternative to cooking fuel. It is estimated that methanol will be at least 30% cheaper than LPG,” ,” APL chairman Jagdish Bhuyan said on Friday, adding that APL will invest close to Rs 1,337 crore to set up a second unit for producing methanol and formalin.
Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat is expected to be present during the launch of the project.
“We are using technology from Sweden for this exercise. We are also exploring if flareup gas in the oil fields of Assam can be used for methanol. We will ink an MoU with state-run Bus Corporation to run 10 buses on methanol.”
According to Bhuyan, APL is also exploring if methanol can be used to run train engines and roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels.
“Once we enhance our capacity we will be able to supply methanol to tea estates,” he said. “Oil import is a major concern for India and its demand is gradually rising. This has significantly contributed to the country’s import bill. As a means of energy security and clean fuel, methanol can replace the traditional energy sources and reduce import and pollution.”