OMCs plan 1,000 LNG stations across the Golden Quadrilateral in three years

by Shahkar Abidi 20 Nov 2020

In a development which is likely to be keenly watched by OEMs, suppliers, oil companies and general motorists, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MP&NG) on Thursday laid the foundation for setting up 50 LNG fuel stations across the Golden Quadrilateral and major national highways.

The development, industry experts claim, is precursor to a plan by oil marketing companies (OMCs) to spend about Rs 10,000 crore over next three years in setting up over 1,000 such fuelling stations. These LNG stations will be set up at the distance of 200-300 km and will cater to the industrial and mining belts.  

“These fifty LNG stations will be set up and commissioned in partnership by country’s Oil & Gas majors such as IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GAIL, Petronet LNG, Gujarat Gas and their Joint Venture Companies and subsidiaries. Out of these 50 LNG stations, IOCL will set up 20 LNG stations, while BPCL and HPCL will set up 11 each LNG station” said the Petroleum and Natural Gas ministry in a statement.

Speaking on the occasion, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas expressed confidence that about 10 percent of trucks will adapt to the LNG fuel. Currently, diesel accounts for about two-fifth fuel consumption by trucks, buses and other vehicles.

Also, LNG comes about 40 percent cheaper than diesel and is more suitable for longer routes. Ministry claims that LNG based truck operators can look forward to saving around Rs 2 lakh per annum per truck which will result in higher upfront cost of LNG trucks being paid back in around 3 – 4 years.

Pradhan, added that a well-thought strategy is being implemented to take the country towards the gas-based economy. In this regard, gas infrastructure is being set up, in terms of laying of pipelines, setting up of terminals, enhancing gas production, introduction of simple and rational tax structure. He continued that LNG is going to be the fuel of the future for transport, and in this regard, retro-fitting of the vehicles as well as development by Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) s is being undertaken.

Benefits of LNG?
LNG is a colourless and non-toxic liquid gets formed when the natural gas is cooled at -162 degree centigrade, thereby shrinking its volume by 600 times. The cooling process makes it safer for storage and shipping. When LNG reaches its destination, it is brought back into gaseous form through a regasification process before being supplied for residential and industrial usage including for vehicle mobility. LNG use in trucks can reduce SOx emissions by 100 percent and NOx emissions by 85 percent thus befitting society at large.

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