Assam Industries and Commerce Minister, Chandra Mohan Patowary attended a review meeting on implementing methanol economy at Transport Bhawan in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The meeting, chaired by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping and Water Resources, was also attended by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; Ananth Kumar, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Anand Geete, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
The meeting discussed ways and measures to increase the production of methanol in the country and thereby creating a methanol economy as an alternative to high cost petroleum products like diesel and petrol.
Presently, Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) is a State PSU which is one of the very few units producing methanol in India.
Minister Gadkari announced that the Ministry of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping would give ten new buses to the Assam Government which would be run by methanol as a pilot project for public transportation for which APL will supply methanol for the new buses.
He further announced that Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will create petroleum fuel bunks along the River Brahmaputra and the national waterways by which Inland Water Transport (IWT) vessels can operate on methanol supplied by APL.
Assam Minister Patowary strongly supported the extension of methanol production and asked for enhancement of gas allocation for APL.
He also requested Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to increase the production of natural gas for Assam with special reference to ONGC.
It is also noteworthy that APL is presently implementing a project for enhancing production of methanol from 125 ton per day to 500 ton per day.