The Government is considering a proposal to allow use of methanol as a fuel
for ships, a cheaper, cleaner and forex-saving alternative to diesel. Shipping
Minister Nitin Gadkari said
“We are studying deeply how to use methanol as a marine fuel and will be
going before the union Cabinet soon for clearance, the minister told newsmen.
We had a meeting (with veteran scientist and Niti Aayog member V K
Saraswat) where we decided that if marine engines are run on methanol, it can
be import substitute, cost-effective and pollution-free.”
Mr.Saraswat while examining a proposal to build 40 bunkers of liquefied
natural gas along the river Ganga as part of the inland waterways project, suggested methanol as an alternative (to
LNG), Gadkari said. Against Rs 60 for a litre of diesel, methanol would cost Rs
20-25, while its calorific value is better than that of diesel, he said, adding
that the biggest priority for the country is how to reduce the cost of fuel.