GUWAHATI: In the run-up to India Energy Week 2023 (IEW 2023) to be held in Bengaluru from February 6 to 8, union minister of petroleum and natural gas, housing and urban affairs – Hardeep Singh Puri and union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, labour and employment, Rameswar Teli, on Tuesday, ceremonially inaugurated the demo-runoff Inland Water Vessel powered by Methanol blended Diesel (MD15).

The boat ride was done on a 50-seater motor launch marine vessel named “SB Gangadhar”.

The marine vessel is equipped with two Ruston made diesel engines (each engine of 105 hp). The boat will be run on MD-15 (15 per cent methanol blended HSD).

Interacting with the media, union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “In Assam, Assam Petrochemical Limited (APL), Namrup currently produces about 100 TPD of Methanol and is implementing a new project for production of 500 TPD of Methanol.”

“Work is in progress to set up Coal-to-Methanol plants in the country using indigenous technology, which is being developed by BHEL (Hyderabad and Trichy), Thermax, and IIT Delhi,” Puri added.

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NITI Aayog’s ‘Methanol Economy’ programme is aimed at reducing India’s oil import bill, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and converting coal reserves and municipal solid waste into methanol. 

Methanol is a cost-effective alternative marine fuel. It is less costly than other marine fuel and is economical in terms of developing the shore side storage and bunkering infrastructure.

The cost to convert vessels to run on methanol is significantly less than other alternative fuel conversions with no need for expensive exhaust gas after treatment and as a liquid fuel, only minor modifications are needed for existing storage and bunkering infrastructure to handle methanol.

Held under the patronage of the union ministry of petroleum & natural gas, India Energy Week is the only and all-encompassing international energy event supported at the highest level of Indian government, with participation from all the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and officially supported by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI).