Methanol Economy Fund
Niti Aayog is planning to set up a Methanol Economy Fund worth Rs 4,000-5,000 crore to promote production and use of the clean fuel. The government is aiming at generation of the fuel by converting high ash content coal into methanol. Such a plant is expected to be set up by Coal India.
Methanol fuel is cheaper, safer and pollution free. In India methanol can be produced at Rs 16-21 per litre. Methanol can be used as an energy producing fuel, transportation fuel and cooking fuel. It will also cut down India’s oil import bill by an estimated 20 per cent.
Unlike CNG, using methanol as a transportation fuel would require minimal alteration in the vehicles. China is the world’s largest producer of methanol. The Niti Aayog is also working on converting certain diesel-powered rail engines to work on methanol. The boats and ships used in the inland waterways initiative are also run on methanol.