Fishing boats in Kerala goes green as LPG conversion project gathers steam

37

As part of a cost-saving and eco-friendly project to support the fishing community, a scheme to convert fuel-run fishing boats into LPG-driven vessels has been launched as part of the inclusive socio-economic development project ‘Parivarthanam, an initiative of Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC) and the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT).

Minister for Fisheries Saji Cheriyan reviewed the trial use of LPG in fishing boats at Vizhinjam near here.

The trials showed that fuel cost could be saved by 50 to 55 per cent by using LPG as an alternative fuel in fishing boats.

The trial was conducted in association with the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), which has developed a specially-designed cylinder customised for using in fishing boats.

Emphasising the need to introduce cost-effective and sustainable practices in the fishery sector, Cheriyan said the trial run of LPG-fuelled boats in traditional fishing would help the fisherfolk save fuel cost considerably.

“Fishermen face a host of issues like high fuel cost and lack of adequate catch due to depletion of marine resources. The shift from fuels like kerosene and petrol to LPG in traditional fishing boats will bring down the steadily increasing operational cost borne by the fishermen,” said the minister.

After reviewing the trial, Cheriyan suggested to the HPCL officials that the speed of boats could be improved and more fishermen be included in the next round of trials.

M.P. Retheesh Kumar of HPCL Mumbai explained to the minister the salient features of the LPG kit.

The Research and Development (R&D) Centre of HPCL, in collaboration with Pune-based Vanaz Engineers Limited, has developed the customised LPG kit exclusively for LPG-powered outboard engines.

According to Roy Nagendran, CEO, Parivarthanam, who supervised the trial, apart from financial benefits, the use of LPG in boats will substantially reduce environmental pollution.

Nagendran said a boat powered by 10 HP engine normally requires six to 10 litres of kerosene for one-hour operation.

“The wastage of a fuel like kerosene is also high as around 20 per cent of it flows out into the sea. A 2.5 kg LPG kit is enough for one-hour operation of a boat. When compared to the cost of fossil fuels, fishermen will benefit substantially from the shift. Moreover, more than one engine can be connected to a single LPG kit,” said Nagendran.

The Out-Board Motor (OBM) using kerosene/petrol can be easily converted into an eco-friendly and cost-effective fuel. The LPG conversion kit can be connected to the boat without making any major changes to it.

Fishermen can utilise the existing engines to attach the conversion kit without incurring any extra costs.

The Parivarthanam project also aims to promote green energy and technologies to sustain traditional fishery activities. The endeavours include promoting rooftop solar panels, electrification of engines and conversion to CNG mode.

20220226-223403

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here