Gujarat Gas, India's largest city gas distribution company added 104 new CNG stations in FY2021 so far taking the total to over 500. According to the company’s top leadership, it now plans to add 130-150 CNG stations annually which is about three times of earlier targeted levels.
According to the company about 50 percent of these CNG stations will be directly controlled and further nearly 75 percent of it would be in new geographies. Most of these new stations are being planned to be set up at the city outskirts and highways along with LNG facilities. The development will not only help in accelerating the adoption of cleaner automotive fuel, but also help in saving the precious foreign exchange.
Given its size and infrastructure, GGL enjoys almost quasi monopoly in India's largest city gas market. The study by Edelweiss Research reveals that this position will be further strengthened by the successful bidding for new areas including Thane and Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and will add 9,500 sq km to GGL's area of operations.
Thrust on CNG network expansion
Making its intentions clear of pushing cleaner automotive fuel, the Government in its Budget announcement increasing CNG availability in 100 additional districts over next three years.
CNG, which is part of the CGD setup, is dispensed through CNG refuelling stations for automobile usage. As of November 2020, the total number of CNG stations stood at 2543 on a pan-India basis. However, there seems to be significant geographical disparity in its network layout as nearly 76 percent of these CNG stations are concentrated in Delhi, Gujarat (including Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu), UP and Maharashtra. This has prevented CNG adoption in most parts of the country.
CNG is 60 percent cheaper than petrol and 45 percent cheaper than diesel and given the volatility in petrol-diesel prices more vehicle users are making a shift to CNG powered vehicles and is fast gaining prominence as a preferred fuel especially in the case of public transportation.