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Project ‘Parivarthanam’ for LPG Conversion of Fishing Boats Gathers Momentum

The Minister emphasized the importance of introducing cost-effective and sustainable practices in the fishery sector, stating that the trial run of LPG-fueled boats in traditional fishing boats would help fishermen save significantly on fuel costs.

Shivam Dwivedi
Picture of a Fishing Boat
Picture of a Fishing Boat

A scheme to convert fossil fuel-powered fishing boats to LPG-powered 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 Central Institute of Fisheries Technology to support the fishing community (CIFT).

Saji Cheriyan, Kerala's Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering, and Culture, visited Vizhinjam to assess the trial use of LPG in fishing boats. The studies revealed that utilizing LPG as an alternative fuel in fishing boats might save 50-55 percent on fuel costs.

The testing was carried out in collaboration with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), which has produced a cylinder specifically suited for use in fishing boats.

The Minister emphasized the importance of introducing cost-effective and sustainable practices in the fishery sector, stating that the trial run of LPG-fueled boats in traditional fishing boats would help fishermen save significantly on fuel costs.

"Fishermen face a slew of challenges, including high fuel costs and a lack of adequate catch due to depletion of marine resources." The switch from kerosene and gasoline to LPG in traditional fishing boats will reduce the steadily increasing operational costs borne by fishermen, according to the Minister.

Customized LPG Kit

Cheriyan suggested to HPCL officials after reviewing the trial that the speed of the boats be increased and more fishermen are included in the next round of trials. The HPCL R&D Centre, in collaboration with Pune-based Vanaz Engineers Limited, created the customized LPG kit specifically for LPG-powered outboard engines.

The trial was overseen by Roy Nagendran, CEO of Parivarthanam, who stated that, in addition to the financial benefits, the use of LPG in boats will significantly reduce environmental pollution.

For a one-hour run, a boat powered by a 10 HP engine typically requires six to ten litres of kerosene. Fuel wastage, such as kerosene, is also high, with approximately 20% of it leaking into the sea. A 2.5 kg LPG kit is sufficient for a boat's one-hour operation. Fishermen will benefit significantly from the change when compared to the cost of fossil fuels. Furthermore, multiple engines can be connected to a single LPG kit.

In the next phase of the project, CNG for fishing boats is also being considered. The kerosene/petrol-powered Out-Board Motor (OBM) can be easily converted into eco-friendly and cost-effective fuel. The LPG conversion kit can be connected to the OBM without requiring any major modifications. Fishermen can attach the conversion kit to their existing engines without incurring any additional costs.

Because of the widespread use of kerosene in outboard engines, unburned kerosene is frequently flushed out to sea. These boats have a negative impact on sensitive ecosystems and aquatic life when they operate in inland waters. The LPG conversion kits were created specifically for the OBM, taking into account all of their requirements such as speed, safety, ease of use, and fuel cost savings.

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