NGV India shows market potential

It was an expo with a difference but whose time has come. Natural Gas for Vehicles or NGV India, held from March 24-26 in New Delhi, drew 182 exhibitors from 27 countries clearly indicating that these companies have recognised the market potential in India. The conference and exhibition, organised by Bangkok Exhibition Services (BES) and supported by GAIL, was inaugurated by Dr Bhure Lal, chairman, Environment Pollution Control Authority.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 03 Apr 2009 Views icon6551 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
NGV India shows market potential
Apart from a host of component makers dealing with natural gas kits, gas dispensing machines and equipment for automotive as well as industrial applications, NGV India 2009 had on display vehicles from Tata Motors and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).

DTC has over 3,000 CNG buses plying in the capital city and plans to introduce another 5,000 before end-2010. On display were also several pathbreaking technologies, solutions and products that would help countries to maintain better standards. Ashok Leyland took the opportunity to display its latest CNG and natural gas engines.

NGV India 2009 showcased India’s expansion into the NGV industry. The conference and exhibition focused on global environmental solutions and emphasised the need for India to bridge the technological gap with some developed countries. India has the fifth largest fleet of natural gas vehicles in the world but most importantly holds the highest NGV growth potential in the world with over 220 cities planned for CNG development, a nationwide distribution pipeline, and was also voted the number one overseas NGV investment opportunity at the previous NGV event in Bangkok.

David Aitken, managing director, BES, was impressed by the good response for the exhibition. “India, with its GDP growth still in and around 6.25 percent in the current economic scenario, is seen as one of most potential and powerful markets. This growth showcases the importance of the need to match economic growth with environmental-friendly initiatives. We believe that NGV 2009 has done just that for the Indian market. Over the past few years of developing NGV events in Asia, we have managed to generate and create increased productive engagement among the various participants and we seek to continue this development through the results of NGV India 2009,” he said.

The event attracted exhibitors from 27 countries including Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United State of America.

Ashok Leyland develops hythane engine

Commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland displayed its six-cylinder, six-litre 92 kW BS-5 engine for operation with hythane in association with Eden Energy of Australia. Speaking to Autocar Professional, S Yoganandam, senior manager – alternate fuels, product development, explained that hythane is a blend of natural gas and hydrogen (usually 20 percent hydrogen by volume). The addition of hydrogen (a renewable fuel), improves efficiency, while retaining the low emission characteristics of CNG, he added.

Also on display was a 135 kW BS V high-power CNG engine with an MPFI-sequential system in place. Yoganandam said that the application of these engines to buses is at an advanced stage at Ashok Leyland and in all probability this could come through by April 2010. The company pioneered the use of CNG fuel for mass transportation in the country by rolling out India’s first CNG bus in 1997 in Mumbai. Today, over 5,500 of its CNG buses ply on the roads of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada and Mumbai, besides a few overseas markets.

Meanwhile, Swagelok of the US showcased its product portfolio. The $ 1.3 billion privately held company designs, develops and manufactures thousands of types of high-quality, general purpose and speciality fluid system products and services. The products include tube fittings, instrumentation valves, tubing and tube supports, gauges and transducers, filters, hoses and welding systems among others. “Swagelok provides products and services to support the design and production of natural gas vehicles, filling stations and hydrogen fuel cell technology. For more than four years, the company has offered products that meet ECE R110 approval for use in natural gas vehicles, including buses, trucks and cars,” said Jayram Veliyath, regional director – North India, Swagelok Delhi. Some of the company’s latest products include SK series multi-purpose ball valves, alternative fuel service ball valves, TC series PTFE-lined stainless steel-braided hose and 8R series thermoplastic hose.

Lovato Gas spa of Italy, which has a technical alliance with leading component manufacturer NK Minda Group, was also there. Minda Autogas provides CNG/LPG kits and other alternative fuel solutions to various OEMs and the replacement market. According to K V V Arjuna Rao, general manager – engineering, Minda Autogas, Lovato products are supplied to Tata Motors for its Indica range of cars and TVS Motor. “We are planning to supply to Maruti Suzuki,” he said. Lovato Gas has developed know-how and technology which today makes it a leading company in the supply of conversion systems for cars, both CNG and LPG. The firm is also the reference point for innovative applications for scooters, marine engines and other types of internal combustion engines. Lovato also offers a complete range of systems and components for the conversion of cars to both LPG and methane, while meeting the most recent emission standards. There are over five million cars all over the world fitted with Lovato systems.

The Lovato easy-fast CNG represents the latest technological evolution for CNG conversion systems. This system of phased sequential injection of CNG, in which the gas is injected in each cylinder by an injector synchronised with the phase of the cylinder to mirror the way the car works on petrol, has been designed for motors with three to eight cylinders, including turbo and valvetronic. As a result, the easy-fast system has been certified using Euro 4 standards.
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