India eyes methanol as bunker alternative

India is looking to promote the development of methanol as a marine fuel, so that it is not reliant on imports.

Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari has revealed the government has been studying methanol for ships as it can be an import substitute, cost effective and pollution-free.

On inland waterways, the government had been looking at an LNG bunkering network, but it is now looking to favour methanol.

Among shipping lines globally, Stena from Sweden has been the most proactive forerunner to adopt methanol as a ship fuel. The Swedish owner maintains ships running on methanol can remove more than 90% of sulphur oxide and particulate matter, and emit 60% less nitrogen oxide, compared to regular bunker fuel.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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