Hebei to pilot methanol gasoline use in Tangshan city, north China

18 January 2012 08:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--North China’s Hebei province is expected to encourage the use of methanol gasoline with Tangshan city as the pilot in June at the earliest, according to a government official on Wednesday.

“We plan to make Tangshan as the pilot city for the supply of M15 methanol gasoline and may extend the use of the fuel to the other cities in the future,” said an official from the Hebei Provincial Development & Reform Commission.

The methanol supply will be from Tangshan Zhongyang New Energy, which plans to bring on stream a 200,000 tonne/year unit in the first half of this year, according to the official.

If methanol gasoline is well received, the Hebei government may consider replacing ethanol gasoline in the future, the official said.

Ethanol gasoline is available in six cities in Hebei.

Hebei boasts a high methanol output with ample reserves of premium coal, the official said, adding that methanol prices are lower than ethanol.

The prices of methanol in north China are at yuan (CNY) 1,950-2,680/tonne ($309-424/tonne) on Wednesday, versus CNY6,700-6,900/tonne for ethanol, according to data from Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

A source with PetroChina Hebei said the company has not received any notification from its parent company on supplying methanol gasoline.PetroChina is a major gasoline supplier in Hebei.

China’s methanol gasoline consumption amounted to about 2m tonnes in 2011, according to preliminary data from C1 Energy, an ICIS service in China.

Although the country chose 13 provincial areas as the pilots for methanol gasoline in 2009, the fuel is only available in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Zhejiang and Shanghai at present. Zhejiang has six pilot cities for methanol gasoline, the highest of all the areas.

M15 methanol gasoline is a blend of 15% methanol and 85% gasoline.

($1 = CNY6.32)

By: Dan Liang

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