GUWAHATI, Oct 29 - The NITI Aayog will extend necessary support for augmenting methanol production of the Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) by utilising the stranded natural gas available in the State. Dr VK Saraswat, member of the Aayog informed this to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal during a discussion held at the Janata Bhawan here today.
The Chief Minister informed Dr Saraswat that the government is working to take advantage of the untapped potential of the State�s natural resources while utilising unconventional energy sources such as methanol as a substitute for transportation and cooking fuel.
Sonowal stated that disposing municipal solid waste has been a major cause of concern for the government and sought support from the NITI Aayog to convert these wastes into an alternate energy source.
Dr Saraswat apprised the Chief Minister that there is tremendous potential of methanol production in Assam and said that its huge coal reserves can be extensively used for producing methanol. He also highlighted different sources such as natural gas, carbon dioxide, biomass, municipal solid waste, kitchen waste and wood, which are available in good quantity in the State, for producing methanol.
�Oil import is a major concern for India and its demand is gradually rising. This has significantly contributed to the country�s import bill. As a means of energy security and clean fuel, methanol can replace the traditional energy sources and reduce import and pollution,� Dr Saraswat said.
Stating that augmentation of methanol production capacity of the Assam Petrochemicals Limited would immensely boost the local economy, Dr Saraswat said that the NITI Aayog would closely work with the company to utilise the stranded natural gas for producing methanol.
The NITI Aayog member also requested the Chief Minister for extending support to augment methanol production capacity of the APL along with setting up a dimethyl ether (DME) plant and methanol-operated cooking gas stove plant in the State. He said the Aayog would also take steps for converting the municipal solid waste for productive purposes.