Petronet awaits govt nod for use of LNG as fuel in vehicles
Petronet LNG Ltd is betting big on the usage of LNG as a fuelling option to meet India’s transportation requirements, Prabhat Singh, Managing Director & CEO, PLL, has said.
“We are awaiting a green signal from the government following a proposal to the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways to use LNG as a fuel in vehicles along with other existing fuels,” he said.
LNG, which is cheaper than compressed natural gas (CNG), is not an approved fuel for vehicles right now. However, its widespread usage will reduce the cost of road transportation as well as the country’s dependence on crude requirements, he told BusinessLine in a one-to-one interaction.
India consumes around 195 million tonnes of crude-based oil products today and the figure is likely to go up to 230 million tonnes by 2022, resulting in higher dependence on crude and additional foreign exchange spending. Given the low processing cost to convert LNG as fuel compared to other fuelling options, he said the differential saving in terms of energy equivalence would be $12 dollar per barrel compared to crude.
“When we are graduating to a better fuel for the future, there will be savings in our foreign exchange kitty and an increase in fuel quantity,” he said.
To create awareness on the use of natural gas for road transportation, he said PLL has approached Tata Motors to procure 100 trucks with LNG fuelling options to operate in the country.
“We are exploring the option to deploy some of these trucks initially on the Kochi-Mangaluru stretch on a pilot basis by outsourcing it to fleet owners.” he said. The new government in Kerala is positive towards this move and has assured us hand-over of land at 3-4 locations to set up LNG filling stations and storage units.
The Kerala government is in the process of introducing 1,000 buses run on CNG fuel. “We have mooted a proposal to convert at least 100 buses to LNG fuel for inter-city movement,” Singh added.