Oil proving slippery – govt eyes methanol from coal for trucks

NEW DELHI: As the government explores options to find long-term solutions to the volatile global oil prices, the road transport ministry is working on a proposal to run diesel-guzzling heavy commercial vehicles like trucks and buses on coal-based methanol.

An estimate prepared by the transport ministry claims two litres of methanol, equivalent to one litre of diesel, can be produced at Rs 30 and it will be cost effective to reduce dependence on imported crude. The diesel price in Delhi currently hovers around Rs 68 per litre. Methanol can be produced from natural gas, coal and renewable sources such as municipal waste and biomass.

The proposal also suggests that the government should continue the current 18% GST on methanol till 2025 and have the GST rate of 12% on vehicles than run on 1001% methanol.

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