V K Saraswat (File Photo)(Image Source: Bidesh Manna/IANS)

Namrup, Oct 5 : Member of NITI Aayog and eminent scientist V.K. Saraswat on Friday launched the country's first project with methanol as alternative cooking gas, saying methanol as cooking gas can change the country's economy for better.

Saraswat launched the pilot project at Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) township at Namrup in Tinsukia district of Assam. He said methanol, which is a clean fuel, can help in reducing India's dependence on imported LPG.

"India imports crude worth $ 86 billion annually. Our country imports 80 per cent of the LPG we use every year. So if we can use methanol as cooking gas, it will reduce our dependence on crude import and will also help the economy. Besides, methanol is a clean fuel and is carbon-neutral, which will help the environment," said Saraswat.

He said countries like China, Africa and others have been using methanol for long as an alternative fuel. While 5.5 lakh households in Africa use methanol as alternative cooking gas, 8 million households in China have been using methanol as alternatives cooking gas," he said, adding methanol can also reduce the cost of cooking gas by 30 per cent.

Terming the launch of the pilot project as a big step, Saraswat said that APL plant at Namrup which is now planning to extend the capacity of methanol production to 600 tons per day by next year can cater to the alternate fuel needs of the entire northeastern states.

APL Chairman Jagadish Bhuyan said that the public sector undertaking has also been planning several innovative steps to make its presence felt as one of the major methanol producer in the country.

 

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