The Central government is planning to set up LNG stations at a distance of 200-300 km on the golden quadrilateral and major highways to have 1,000 liquified natural gas (LNG) stations across all major roads and industrial and mining hubs, within the next three years.
LNG-based truck operators can look forward to save around Rs 2 lakh per annum per truck, which will result in higher upfront cost of LNG trucks being paid back in around three-four years, says Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, while laying foundation stone for the first 50 LNG fueling stations, across the golden quadrilateral and major National Highways. 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) is being undertaken. The Minister said that the LNG is not only almost 40 per cent cheaper than diesel but also causes very less pollution.
"The government will continue to promote CNG vehicles, electric vehicles, auto-LPG, but at the same time, LNG as long-haul fuel will be pushed. 20-25 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) equivalent LNG will come to the country, and cheaper LNG is likely to be available in the global market," he says, adding that increased LNG consumption in the country will reduce the country's dependence on crude oil.
The first 50 LNG stations, for heavy vehicles like buses and trucks, will be set up by public sector firms IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GAIL, PLL, 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 LNG stations each.
LNG as heavy vehicle fuel segment can also provide around 20-25 MMSCMD of new gas demand by 2035, and will be an important contribution towards our vision of 15 per cent share of natural gas in India's energy mix, says the Minister. According to Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the government is making a long-term plan to promote LNG and the first trial of the fuel was started in 2015, and it is now ready to take off on the commercial scale.