Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will use methanol as a marine fuel retrofitting its work boats with engines that could run with the green fuel. Cochin Shipyard would retrofit the boats at its facility in Kolkata. The shipyard had recently formed a joint venture with the city-based Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers.
Specifically, methanol reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides ( NOx), Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and particulate matter and is complaint with emission norms for shipping industry worldwide post 2020.
Since the shipping industry tries to adopt the new sustainable regulations, more than seven ships of 50,000 dead weight tonne world wide have already transformed to methanol based engines.
Mainly, IWAI has agreed with Cochin Shipyard to produce six new vessels ran by methanol, with the Cochin Shipyard with capacity ranging between 1,000 and 2,000 tonne.
The boats have been designed by DST Germany, according to Pravir Pandey, IWAI’s vice chairman. Methanol mix is cheaper compared to diesel and costs about Rs 26 per litre but requires larger volumes for consumption.
Also, Pandey continued by noting that the vessel would need refuelling on its way as the fuel storage tank cannot be made larger since it would reduce cargo handling space. Yet,the designers are working on a bunkering strategy on NW-1, which can gradually be replicated on other National Waterways.
IWAI has taken a strategy of creating bunkering facility on the National Waterways ( NW-1) at the first phase, which would fuel the boats that IWAI would launch for sailing.
Pravir Pandey, stated that
"As an experiment we have given our three workboats to Cochin Shipyard for redesigning and retrofitting the engines so that they can be sailed on waterways with methanol fuel"
Moreover, Cochin Shipyard has allegedly collaborated with a Sweden-based company. The shipyard had recently formed a joint venture with the city-based Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers.
For the time being, IWAI owns 12 vessels and will procure 20-25 more vessels of different types.
Finally, Cochin Shipyard can emerge as a prominent ship repair centre at par with Colombo, Dubai, Singapore, Bahrain and others and will become a one stop maritime hub for repair needs of all vessels calling at Indian ports, a Cochin Shipyard statement said.