Nitin Gadkari gifts 10 methanol-run buses to Pune, Mumbai
The minister said that India has the potential to expand the current ₹11,000 crore methanol economy to about ₹2 lakh crore in the years ahead through the promotion of cleaner fuelUpdated: Jan 18, 2019 15:23 IST
Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that 10 methanol powered public transport buses will be gifted to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to be run on the city roads as a pilot project.
He made this announcement while unveiling the M15 Blending Programme for 15% blending of methanol in petrol at the symposium on international automotive technology organised by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) in Pune.
“My ministry has taken up a pilot project to buy 40 buses running on methanol under which 10 buses will be given to each municipal corporations of Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Guwahati. With this, I feel that we can definitely encourage manufacturers to manufacture methanol engine,” he said.
He pointed out that India spends ₹7 lakh crore annually to import crude oil and it is necessary to switch over to cost-effective, import substitution and pollution-free fuel alternatives.
He said that Euro 6 norms would become mandatory across the country from April 1, 2020. “Today, the government has taken the decision that from April 1, 2020, it will be mandatory to adhere to Euro 6 emission norms. The automobile industry is unhappy with me, but I have signed the file,” he said.
The Euro 6 also known as Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) emission standards are aimed at reducing automobile pollution.
Gadkari thanked ARAI for finalising the standards, trials and testing for methanol, and said, “The centre of excellence on methanol will be developed in ARAI. Our ministry will provide all the necessary assistance including financial help in this regard. This is an indigenous venture,” he said.
The minister said that India has the potential to expand the current ₹11,000 crore methanol economy to about ₹2 lakh crore in the years ahead through the promotion of cleaner fuel and reduction in the huge crude oil import bills.
Stating that India is now electricity surplus and there is also an abundance of coal and solar power in the country, Gadkari noted that the government’s thrust is to promote import substitutes, cost effective and pollution-free transport that includes electric mobility.
Ajay Mathur, Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) expressed concern over rising pollution in the cities, and said, “Pollution particulate matter (ppm) in every city is well above permissible limits. Especially in Delhi, ppm is increasing annually. So, it is the right time to switch to pollution-free fuel alternatives.”
Pune mayor Mukta Tilak said that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will also buy 450 CNG buses to strengthen their fleet.
Project to run automobiles with 15 per cent methanol mixing
ARAI director Rashmi Urdhwareshe explained the results of the pilot project to run automobiles with 15 per cent methanol mixing. The results indicated a considerable reduction in emissions and a higher fuel economy, she said. In the second stage, the tests will be done on in-use vehicles, she said.
Considering the fact that biofeuls can now be used in aviation sector, Gadkari informed that he has plans to develop Gadchiroli district in Vidarbha region as a hub for production of biofeuls for aviation sector since this district has the required natural resources for the same.
Prashanth Gurusriniwas, member of core committee on methanol in the Niti Ayog, said that successful application of methanol in automotive fuel will lead to 20 per cent reduction in import of crude oil by year 2030. He informed that a plant to produce methanol from coal ash generated in power plants will start functioning in the next three years.