India to have 10,000 CNG stations in next 10 years, on track to adapt cleaner fuels: Dharmendra Pradhan
Pradhan said that after the 9th City Gas Distribution round government’s access to the CGD networks would increase to more than 300 districts, which will entail an investment of more than Rs 70,000 crore New Delhi: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said the country was on its way to construct more than 10,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in the coming decade.
He was speaking at an event held by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. “CNG vehicles are cheaper and less polluting and for this reason, according to the road map created by the government, India will get 10,000 CNG stations in the coming 10 years from around 1,400 today.
These numbers are not part of any announcement; the numbers are based on the commitments made by winning bidders under the 9th City Gas Distribution (CGD) round,” Pradhan said. He added that the government had initiated the process to launch the 10th CGD bidding round as well. Pradhan said that after the 9th CGD round government’s access to the CGD networks would increase to more than 300 districts, which will entail an investment of more than Rs 70,000 crore. Earlier, in 2014 only 73 districts in the country had accessibility to the CDG networks.
Speaking on the country’s energy imports, Pradhan said, “India imports around 3,500 million tonne (mt) of crude oil, coal, LPG, LNG and if we calculate the waste and unused carbon available in the country in the form of agri-waste, forest waste, etc, it comes to around 4,500 mt.” He added that the country’s oil-marketing companies (OMCs) were building 12 second-generation ethanol plants, which would produce ethanol from agriculture and urban waste. On country’s biofuel foray in powering aircrafts, the oil minister said, “India uses around 6 mt of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), India’s forests hold around 7 mt of non-edible oil producing plants, which can be used to produce bio-ATF.
Technology is not a challenge anymore.” Pradhan added that even though the use of biogas had been around for some time, the country needs to further convert it into bio-CNG to utilise it in the transportation sector. “In order to give stimulus to the sector, government-owned OMCs have decided to provide complete off-take guarantee of bio-CNG at a good price. Also, bio-CNG and biofuel can become viable alternative for the transportation sector,” Pradhan said. He added that the country is moving towards adapting cleaner fuels such as biofuel, bio-CNG, coal to gas, and coal to methanol projects, and would be able to meet Prime Minister’s target of decreasing the country’s energy imports.