The Kerala government has launched a cost-saving and eco-friendly scheme to convert fossil fuel-run fishing boats into LPG-driven vessels to support the fishing community. The project is a part of the inclusive socio-economic development project Parivarthanam, the Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation (KSCADC) initiative and the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT).
Trial Of LPG In Fishing Boats
Saji Cheriyan, the Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Culture, reviewed the trial use of LPG in fishing boats at Vizhinjam. The trial showed that fuel cost could be saved by 50 to 55 % after repacing the existing fuel with LPG as an alternative fuel in fishing boats.
Cheriyan emphasised the need to introduce cost-effective and sustainable practices in the fishery sector. He said the trial revealed that the LPG-fuelled boats would considerably help the fisherfolk save fuel costs.
He said in a press release, "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 fishermen," reported NDTV.
Customised LPG Kit
The trial was executed in association with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), which devised a specially-designed cylinder customised for use in fishing boats. The customised LPG kit was collaboratively developed by the research and development (R&D) centre of HPCL and Pune-based Vanaz Engineers Limited.
As per Roy Nagendran, the CEO of Parivarthanam, the use of LPG in fishing boats would minimise environmental pollution. He said a boat powered by a 10 HP engine requires six to 10 litres of kerosene for an hour operation. The wastage of fuel like kerosene is also high as around 20 per cent of it flows out into the sea. On the other hand, a 2.5 kg LPG kit is sufficient for the boat's one-hour operation.
"When compared to the cost of fossil fuels, fishermen will benefit substantially from the shift. Moreover, more than one engine can be connected from a single LPG kit," Mr Nagendran said.
Benefit To Fisherman
The fishermen can make use of the existing engines to attach the conversion kit without incurring the extra expenditure. And these LPG kits have been designed specifically for the OBM, considering requirements like speed, safety, ease of use and savings.