Shell to set up LNG stations in India
“We are looking to develop our own LNG sites and retail stations in the country,” said Nakul Raheja, country head of Shell Energy India
Energy giant Shell will foray into retailing LNG for long-haul transportation in India with its first filling station coming up in Gujarat this year as it bets big on the South Asian country’s gas market, a senior company official said.
“We are looking to develop our own LNG sites and retail stations in the country,” said Nakul Raheja, country head of Shell Energy India, reports the Economic Times citing the PTI.
Shell operates a 5 million tonnes a year liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility at Hazira in Gujarat and has a small network of petrol pumps; tt is now looking at the LNG for trucks/buses market as a growth avenue.
“So we are working now on our own expansion plans in this place and if things go to plan, then within this calendar year we should have our first site ready selling LNG as a transport fuel to heavy duty vehicles in the state of Gujarat and we are going to follow that up with a few more sites next year,” Raheja added.
While the first site is likely to be an exclusive LNG retail outlet, the company may in the future look to co-locate the LNG refuelling facility within petrol pumps.
“We are starting off with Gujarat in the vicinity of Hazira. Of course, as a very natural place to first start with around Surat and then logically expand, you know, further into Western India to begin with and then working on plans beyond that,” Nakul Raheja said, adding the company may have three-four sites in next 12 to 18 months.
The Indian government is pushing the use of LNG as fuel for long-haul transportation. It is targeting 50 stations in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan in next three years and ultimately 1,000 outlets.
LNG, which is natural gas super-cooled to liquid form, has much less carbon footprint than diesel. Besides environmental benefits, it is also cheaper on long-haul routes.
China consumes 12 to 13 million tonnes of LNG in this segment annually. This is half of all LNG that India imports for use in power plants, fertilizer units, city gas and other industries.