The Namrup-based Assam Petrochemicals Limited on Friday rolled out the country’s first methanol-based cooking fuel which will be cheaper than conventional LPG fuel.

NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat set the ball rolling by inaugurating the Green and Clean Fuel Pilot Project on methanol cooking stove, which is the first of its kind in India.

This is India’s first step towards methanol economy which is a flagship program of NITI Aayog. Through the programme, the NITI Aayog has been working on a road map to replace 20 per cent of the country’s crude imports through methanol alone.

Assam Petro-chemicals Limited has been manufacturing methanol for the last 30 years and in two months time it will start commercial production of methanol-based cooking fuel.

A 1.2L canister can last for full five hours on twin burners and 8 such canisters as rack can last for one month for a family of three. The cost of energy equivalent of one cylinder of LPG for methanol is Rs 650, compared to Rs 850 per cylinder resulting in a minimum of 20% savings.

The concept of methanol economy is being actively pursued by China, Italy, Sweden, Israel, US, Australia, Japan and many other European nations. As much as 10 per cent of fuel in China’s transport sector is based on methanol.