NEW DELHI: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said the Government is considering a proposal to allow use of methanol as a fuel for ships, which he said would be a cheaper, cleaner and forex-saving alternative to diesel.
“We are studying deeply how to use methanol as a marine fuel and will be going before the Cabinet soon,” he said here. “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,” the Minister said.
Saraswat examined a proposal to build 40 bunkers of liquefied natural gas along the river Ganga as part of the inland waterways project, and 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 “the biggest priority for us is how to reduce the cost of fuel.”