TNN | Oct 6, 2018, 07:09 IST
DIBRUGARH: Signifying a paradigm shift towards the use of alternate cooking fuel technology, the Namrup-based Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) on Friday rolled out the country’s first methanol-based cooking fuel, which will be 30% cheaper than conventional LPG fuel, cleaner and greener and easily transportable.
NITI Aayog member and former director general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Vijay Kumar Saraswat, set the ball rolling by inaugurating the ‘Green and Clean Fuel Pilot Project on Methanol Cooking Stove’, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. Terming it a historic moment, Saraswat said this is India’s first step towards realising the concept of ‘Methanol Economy’, the flagship programme of NITI Aayog.
Through the programme, the NITI Aayog has been working on a roadmap to replace 20% of the country’s crude imports through methanol alone, Saraswat said. He added that adopting methanol will not only mitigate the ever-rising price of fuels, including that of cooking fuel, but will also bring down pollution in the country by over 40%.
The concept of ‘Methanol Economy’ is being actively pursued by China, Italy, Sweden, Israel, US, Australia, Japan and many other European nations. As much as 10% of fuel in China’s transport sector is based on methanol.
APL chairman Jagdish Bhuyan said under the pilot project, stove and methanol canister will be made available in a limited scale. The methanol cooking fuel will be available in canisters of 1.2 kg capacity each, which will be priced at around Rs 32 and around 18 of them would be equivalent to one conventional domestic LPG cylinder
The technology for the canister and the special burner has been provided by Sweden. In two months, APL will start commercial production of methanol-based cooking fuel. Initially the product will be made available for the northeastern region, Bhuyanalso said.
In contrast to the present cooking fuel, which is used in liquefied gas form, the methanol fuel will come in vapour form. Unlike LPG, which can explode if it catches fire, the methanol canister will burn out without any explosion.
Those present on the inaugural programme were Prasanth Guru Srinivas, core-committee member-Methanol and founder director of Catalytic Think Tank Forum, APL chairman Jagdish Bhuyan, Dibrugarh MP Rameshwar Teli, additional chief secretary, industries and commerce Ravi Capoor, Dibrugarh DC Laya Madduri, APL managing director Ratul Bordoloi and APL vice chairman Bikul Chandra Deka.