Nitin Gadkari unveils M15 Blending Programme

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 18 January 2019

"India imports 7 lakh crore rupees worth of crude oil per annum. If we are able to save our money by using such fuels, we can divert 2 lakh crore rupees for farmers which will boost agriculture." added Gadkari.

PUNE: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday unveiled the M15 Blending Programme at the Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT 2019) organised by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) at Oxford Gold Resort, Bavdhan.

The M15 Blending Programme essentially constitutes 15 pc blending of methanol in petrol, a project on which the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has been working on over the past few months. Speaking at the event, Gadkari said there is need to reduce pollution and save money on fuels.

"India imports 7 lakh crore rupees worth of crude oil per annum. If we are able to save our money by using such fuels, we can divert 2 lakh crore rupees for farmers which will boost agriculture. We need local pollution-free technology to substitute these imports, and bring down the costs. The time has come to use ethanol produced from sugarcane molasses. Currently, the ethanol economy in India is Rs 11,000 crore and we should target to grow this to 2 lakh crore. In Nagpur we commissioned 35 Scania buses which are running on 100% bio-ethanol. We are also sanctioning 40 new buses running on 100 per cent biofuel. Ten buses each will be given to Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Guwahati," added Gadkari.

The minister said currently we have surplus of sugarcane, wheat, rice which can help in production of biofuels. Speaking about the benefits of M15, Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director of ARAI said that as per the research conducted by ARAI on two-wheelers, three- wheelers and passenger cars, there was an improvement in fuel efficiency. "While there was reduction in CO (Carbon Monoxide)

and HC (Hydrocarbon) emissions, there was slight increase in NOX (Nitrogen oxide) emission. M15 is defined as 82 per cent gasoline, 3 per cent additive and 15 per cent methanol," she added.

Following the research done by ARAI on M15 Blending Programme, Gadkari said a Center of Excellence on methanol should be formed at ARAI. "My ministry will give the required financial assistance,” he added.

To promote biofuels, Gadkari announced there will be no permit required for buses and three-wheelers running on electricity, methanol and ethanol.

Prashant Srinivas, expert group member of NITI Aayog, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of substituting 10 pc crude oil imports by 2030 can be met under the M15 programme. "M15 has the potential to achieve up to 20 pc crude oil import substitution by 2030," added Srinivas.

Gadkari congratulated ARAI for working with ISRO and coming up with lithium ion batteries with supercapacitors. He said although auto mobile companies are hating him he will stick to the deadline of April 1, 2020 for being compliant to Euro VI norms.

Energy and Resources Institute Director Ajay Mathur and Rashmi Urdhwareshe explained to Gadkari the research done by them to study pollution in NCR region. The duo explained that pollution from burning biomass, vehicle emission and Industry emission were major contributor to PM 2.5 particles. Gadkari said companies providing diesel-run generators should be asked to come up with solutions to curb pollution.

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