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India: Methanol to be promoted as shipping fuel

The use of methanol will soon be promoted as a fuel for shipping in the place of diesel, which could help address the problem of pollution in the shipping industry, Union Minister of Shipping and Waterways Nitin Gadkari said here on Monday.

Speaking at an event at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M), where he laid the foundation stone for a national technology centre to modernise India’s ports and fast track waterways, he said that Niti Aayog had already undertaken research on methanol and further technological research from institutions, such as IIT-M, on this could help ensure that India manufactured its own methanol for industrial use.

“The role of ports is crucial for the development of our country,” he said. Highlighting how the shipping industry registered increasing profits since the time the BJP government came to power in 2014, he added, “This year, we are expecting profits up to ₹7000 crore.”

Sagarmala project

Detailing the progress made on the Sagarmala programme to modernise ports in India, he said the project is expecting investments up to ₹15 lakh crore, out of which ₹4 lakh crore had been generated thus far.

“Work on the project worth ₹2,80,000 crore has already started. We are devising port-led development in project areas by developing Special Economic Zones, Coastal Development Zones and various industrial clusters. In Mumbai alone, one SEZ is expecting ₹ 40,000 crore and jobs for over one lakh people,” he said.

The Centre has provided ₹70 crore to IIT-M towards the setting up of the technology centre to provide technological assistance in taking the projects forward.

IIT-M Director Bhaskar Ramamurthy said the technology centre would come up in the Thaiyur campus where land had been provided by the State government.

“The Centre will be involved in cutting-edge research on topics such as coastal restoration, bridge simulation and testing, etc that would help expand the capability of the ocean engineering department,” he said.

Sagarmala joint secretary Kailash K. Aggarwal said 500 projects had been identified under the programme till now. To a query from The Hindu on whether any mitigating measures had been envisaged with respect to the Enayam port project proposed under Sagarmala due to the recent cyclone-led devastation and resistance to the project from local communities, Mr. Aggarwal said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had already raised the matter at a meeting with Mr. Gadkari and that the matter would be deliberated upon at a meeting in the coming days in New Delhi.
Source: The Hindu

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