Guwahati: IndianOil, India’s leading energy provider, rolled out brand new M15 Petrol (15% blend of Methanol with Petrol) at Assam Agencies in Tinsukia on Saturday.

The pilot rollout was done by Rameswar Teli, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment, in the august presence of Dr V K Saraswat, Member Niti Aayog, Shri S M Vaidya, Chairman IndianOil, Bikul Deka, Chairman Assam Petrochemicals Limited and other senior officials of the Oil industry. This new variety of fuel will strengthen India’s energy self sufficiency and reduce pollution.

In its effort to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, the Government of India has envisaged an ambitious roadmap for the energy sector with a greater focus on Methanol Economy. Accordingly, as envisaged by Niti Aayog and in line with the philosophy of making India self-sufficient in energy requirements, the rollout of M15 Petrol (a 15% blend of Methanol with Petrol) has been taken up by IndianOil on a pilot basis.

The pilot rollout is being done in Assam’s Tinsukia due to the ready availability of Methanol which is being manufactured by the State Public Sector Enterprise – M/s Assam Petrochemical Ltd, Namrup in the vicinity of Digboi. The concept of the Methanol economy is currently being actively pursued by countries like China, Japan, Italy, Sweden, the US, Australia, Israel, and many other European countries. Methanol has become the choice of fuel in Marine Sector worldwide, and countries like Sweden are at the forefront of usage.

During the inauguration, Teli underlined that Petroleum Ministry is working towards reducing imports and also said that blending fuel with methanol will provide respite from the price hike. Teli also highlighted the future expansion plans of the Digboi refinery.

“The use of M15 fuel is expected to positively impact import substitution and is expected to save billions of dollars in fuel import bills,” the minister said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman S M Vaidya said the pilot roll-out of M15 is a stepping stone towards achieving fuel independence and reducing import burden” and further underlined the steps being undertaken by IndianOil to make India energy self-sufficient.

According to Niti Aayog, Methanol is a low carbon, hydrogen carrier fuel produced from high ash coal, agricultural residue, CO2 from thermal power plants and natural gas. It is the best pathway for meeting India’s commitment to COP 21. NITI Aayog’s ‘Methanol Economy’ programme aims to reduce India’s oil import bill, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and convert coal reserves and municipal solid waste into methanol.

It says although slightly lower in energy content than petrol and diesel, methanol can replace both these fuels in the transport sector (road, rail and marine), the energy sector (comprising DG sets, boilers, process heating modules, tractors and commercial vehicles) and retail cooking (replacing LPG [partially], kerosene and wood charcoal). Blending of 15% methanol in gasoline can result in at least a 15% reduction in gasoline/crude oil import.

It says Methanol Economy will also create close to 5 million jobs through methanol production/application and distribution services.

Also read: Drug trafficker hurt in police firing in Assam; drugs worth Rs 20 cr set ablaze

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