In a meeting by the Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by the Roadways Minister Nitin Gadkari, it was decided that very soon 10 Mercedes-Benz buses fuelled by methanol shall ply on the roads of Assam as a part of a pilot project. The project aims to promote the use of alternative fuel for the transport industry, mentioned a top official of the Roadways Ministry.
The projects were discussed in detail to boost the methanol production in the country besides its promotion. An official stated that adding methanol can reduce India’s crude oil imports by 20 percent.
Officials also added that the projects would be sponsored by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Petroleum Ministry is also looking at the possibilities of a methanol policy and the government has already constituted a task force to study the feasibility of producing methanol from coal, and using coal gas as a replacement of natural gas in the country.
However, the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) had already signed an agreement with Mercedes Benz in 2017 for operating around 175 buses under a PPP model which has not been initiated yet. ASTC also stated last year that communications were on with Swedish automobile firm Scania for a similar project.