The Namrup-based Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) on Friday rolled out the country’s first methanol-based cooking fuel which will be cheaper than conventional LPG fuel.
NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat set the ball rolling by inaugurating the Green and Clean Fuel Pilot Project on Methanol Cooking Stove, which is the first of its kind in India. Terming it a historic moment, Saraswat said that it was India’s first step towards realizing the concept of “Methanol Economy”, the flagship programme of NITI Aayog.
Through the programme, the NITI Aayog has been working on a road map to replace 20 per cent of the country’s crude imports through methanol alone, Saraswat said. He added that adopting methanol will not only mitigate the ever-rising fuel price including that of cooking fuel but will also bring down pollution in the country by over 40 per cent.
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 per cent of fuel in China’s transport sector is based on methanol.
APL chairman Jagdish Bhuyan said that under the pilot project, stove and methanol canister will be made available in a limited scale. In two months time, APL will start commercial production of methanol-based cooking fuel and initially the product will be made available for the north eastern region, Bhuyan added. In contrast to the present cooking fuel being 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, additional chief secretary, industries and commerce Ravi Capoor, APL managing director Ratul Bordoloi and APL vice chairman Bikul Chandra Deka.