Four questions to Bengt Ramne

Four questions to Bengt Ramne, Professor of the Practice, who recently participated as keynote speaker at the conference ”International Seminar on India’s Leap into Methanol Economy” in India.
Tell us about the conference!
India is the world’s third largest importer of oil and they consider this dependency a problem. They are now looking into the possibilities of producing domestic methanol in order to replace some of the imported oil. The aim is to use methanol as fuel for vehicles, for generating power, as alternative fuel for their 6000 diesel locomotives, as well as fuel for shipping along the rivers and the coast.

What was your presentation about?
What we are doing in terms of implementing methanol as ship fuel, is of huge interest internationally, and especially China and India consider methanol an attractive alternative to oil. In my presentation I described what we have done together with Stena and Wärtsilä in the projects EffShip and SPIRETH, and of course the converting of Stena Germanica to methanol. I also presented the work we are doing together with SMTF, SSPA, the Swedish Maritime Administration and the Swedish Transport Agency in the GreenPilot project, where we adapt a Swedish pilot boat for minimal impact on the environment by for example switch diesel engines for methanol engines. The engine segments we are working with in GreenPilot is directly applicable on several coastal ships and ships for inland waterways. India has an extensive programme for increasing the use of the big Indian rivers for energy efficient and environmentally sustainable transports.

Why is this an important issue?
If we want to meet the goals set in Sweden, the EU, and globally concerning decreasing the emissions of carbon dioxide, we must shift over to fossile free fuels for the transport sector. Electricity can be used to some extent, but for heavier road transports and for shipping, we will have to depend on fluid fuels. Methanol is an excellent alternative which can be produced from a broad spectrum of materials. In Sweden, the use of forest resources is an excellent alternative hence methanol is the most efficient bearer of energy.

Can you tell us more about your stay in India?
As an international guest at an Indian conference you are incredibly well taken care of. Private driver, personal assistant, and the best hotels you can imagine. The Indian cuisine is also amazing. My stomach managed fine until I got home and exposed it to Swedish food.

Text: Katarina Wignell

Page manager Published: Mon 12 Sep 2016.