Centre has planned to launch two pilot projects in Assam and Maharashtra wherein it would operate a total of 20 Mercedes-Benz buses fuelled by methanol as part of efforts to promote alternative fuels, said a top official.
The plans for the launch had been discussed in a meeting of group of ministers (GoM), chaired by Road Minister Nitin Gadkari, on methanol, held on Wednesday.
Projects had been discussed in detail to boost methanol production in the country besides its promotion; the official added that methanol can reduce India’s crude oil imports by 20 per cent.
“The government is considering launching two pilot projects to promote methanol. The projects being planned to launch in Maharashtra and Assam will see running of a fleet of 10 buses each in both the states, fuelled by methanol,” the official said.
The official added that the projects would be sponsored by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The petroleum ministry is also looking at the possibilities of a methanol policy, said the official adding that the government has already constituted a task force to study the feasibility of producing methanol from coal, and using coal gas as a replacement of natural gas.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Anant Geete and Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar along with officials from various ministries including Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat were also present in the meeting.