MHTL: Big savings if methanol used as fuel additive

Gaso­line and diesel prices could go down if T&T de­cides to use methanol as five per cent its fu­el mix­ture.

This was re­vealed by Vishard Chan­dool, man­ag­er tech­ni­cal and cor­po­rate ser­vices Methanol Hold­ings Trinidad Ltd, who told a methanol con­fer­ence yes­ter­day that the coun­try could save as much as a quar­ter bil­lion dol­lars on an an­nu­al ba­sis if the coun­try de­cides to blend five per cent of its fu­el with methanol.

This sav­ings, he said, can then be passed on­to mo­torists.

Methanol Hold­ings along with its par­ent com­pa­ny Pro­man part­nered with the Methanol In­sti­tute to hold the con­fer­ence yes­ter­day at the Hy­att Re­gency.

The con­fer­ence was held to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial of the use of methanol as a fu­el in ve­hi­cles.

Pan­el­lists ex­plained that Trinidad and To­ba­go is one of the largest ex­porters of methanol in the world and ex­ports near­ly all of its methanol while it is now an im­porter of fu­el for both lo­cal con­sump­tion and ex­port to the Cari­com mar­ket.

The pan­el which in­clud­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Chi­na, Is­rael and the Methanol In­sti­tute in­sist­ed that the mod­ern ve­hi­cles are al­ready man­u­fac­tured to al­low for al­co­hol mixed in the fu­el and point­ed to Chi­na in which as much as 15 per cent of its fu­el is methanol.

The con­fer­ence was told that methanol prices have al­ways trend­ed low­er than gaso­line and there was noth­ing that sug­gests the trend would change.

It is the low­er price for methanol that favours low­er gaso­line and diesel prices at the pump.

They al­so not­ed that the wor­ries about the cor­ro­sive­ness of methanol was not an is­sue and that it will be rel­a­tive­ly in­ex­pen­sive to make the switch at the pumps.

The in­sti­tute plans to en­gage stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing the Gov­ern­ment and the wider pub­lic on the is­sue.

Reporter: Curtis Williams

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