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India's shipping minister holds methanol fuel talks

Nitin Gadkari is keen to reduce pollution, fuel and transport costs whilst sourcing coal locally to make methanol.



India's Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari, during a methanol brainstorming session in October 2017. Image credit: Indian Ministry of Shipping/Twitter


Updated on 17 Oct 2017 08:52 GMT

India's Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari, held a brainstorming session last week on the use of methanol as fuel to power barges operating in the country's waterways.

The minister aims to reduce pollution at sea and discourage road traffic by promoting the use of waterways and public transport.

Gadkari is also focused on developing the country's waterways in order to reduce logistics costs.

"To cut the high cost of logistics in the country, inland waterways are being developed in a major way while methanol will soon be made the fuel for ships," Gadkari commented earlier this month.

"We must use pollution-free methanol as fuel that is available at Rs 22 a litre. In Sweden, they are changing from diesel to methanol," Gadkari also said in October.

Methanol can be made from coal, and the Indian minister is keen for the fuel to be produced by sourcing coal locally from mines in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Gadkari says discussions have been held with engine manufacturers Wartsila and Cummins to develop biofuel-compliant engines for local shipping vessels.

Additionally, 40 river ports with a three-metre draft are said to be in the process of being created.

The government is also developing a river traffic control system that will be similar to those used to control air traffic, Gadkari says.






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