India to promote methanol as shipping fuel

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

28 February 2018


The use of methanol will soon be promoted as a fuel for shipping in the place of diesel, said India's shipping minister Nitin Gadkari.

He said the government has planned to make methanol the fuel for all maritime transport, on account of lesser costs and pollution, compared to diesel. "This could help address the problem of pollution in the shipping industry," he said.

"We are working with lot of new technologies nowadays. We are planning to use methanol as a fuel for all our maritime transport, which is highly cost effective and less polluting in comparison to diesel," IANS quoted him as saying.

"We are making a four multi-modal hub -- Varanasi, Haldia, Sagarganj, Sahibganj (across river Ganga) And at 60 river ports, we plan to use methanol as fuel", Gadkari said.

According to a PTI report, he pointed to the example of China, where methanol cost just INR 17 (USD 0.26) per litre. "In China methanol is INR 17 per litre. In India, it costs INR 22 (USD 0.34) per litre, but is equal to one litre of diesel, which is INR 60 (USD 0.93) today. Compared to diesel there is very less pollution (from methanol) also".

Methanol, which costs Rs 22 per litre now, can be manufactured in India at lower cost, but new technology was needed for the initiative, Nitin Gadkari said. "For that we need technical assistance. That is one of the reasons today for the formation of National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts is very very important. It can give us good technology of international standards and it can save costs", he said.

He said his Ministry was working with lot of new technologies nowadays, while laying the foundation stone for setting up a National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) at IIT-Madras in Chennai.

According to a UNI report, the NTCPWC, supported by the Sagarmala project, would work to modernise India’s ports and fast track waterways and it would be a strategic and innovation-oriented initiative tasked with bringing in cutting-edge technology to India's Ports, waterways and maritime Sector.