Govt to give 10 new methanol-run buses to Assam as a pilot project for public transportation

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, June 27: The Union government will give 10 new buses to Assam government which would be run by methanol as a pilot project for public transportation.

This was announced by union minister for road transport, highways & shipping, Nitin Gadkari in a review meeting on implementing methanol economy at Transport Bhawan in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The state-run Assam Petrochemicals Ltd (APL), which is one of the very few units producing methanol in India, will supply methanol for the new buses, an official statement here said.

The APL is presently implementing a project for enhancing production of methanol from 125 ton per day to 500 ton per day.

Gadkari also 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.

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.

Addressing the meeting, Assam industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary supported the extension of methanol production and asked for enhancement of gas allocation for APL. He also requested Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan to increase the production of natural gas for Assam with special reference to ONGC.

The meeting was chaired by Gadkari and was also attended by petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers Ananth Kumar and Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Anand Geete.

Meanwhile, the government has hiked the price of ethanol produced from C-molasses by Rs 2.85 per litre to Rs 43.70 for the new season starting December 2018, according to sources.

For the first time, the government has also fixed the price of ethanol produced from B-molasses at Rs 47.49 per litre. So far, the price was only fixed for ethanol produced from C-molasses.

A decision in this regard was taken in a Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to the sources, the Cabinet increased the price of ethanol produced from C-molasses to Rs 43.70 per litre for the 2018-19 season (December-November) from the current Rs 40.85 per litre.

The price of ethanol produced from B-molasses has been fixed higher at Rs 47.49 per litre in order to encourage sugar mills to divert from sugar production, the sources added.

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