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50 LNG Fuel Stations Along the Highways – A Journey Towards Gas-Based Economy

50 LNG fuel stations

On November 19, 2020 Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone for India’s first 50 LNG fuel stations. These stations are planned along the golden quadrilateral and National Highways with the collaboration of major oil and gas companies of India. It can be seen as a prelude to a new chapter of economic growth and efficiency along the transport lifelines.

To understand why this is an important step, one need to count the benefits that will occur upon the completion of this project:

  • Since Natural Gas including LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) is cheaper than crude oil, it will reduce India’s import bill.
  • Lowering carbon emission is the goal the world is striving towards, and India has made a global commitment in this regard, emerging as a leader as well. LNG fares better than oil in this regard as it emits comparatively less greenhouse gases, and expanding the base of LNG will help India to save environment.
  • LNG also scores better in energy efficiency, which is beneficial for fleet operators.
  • As India aims to further strengthen LNG infrastructure network, an employment opportunity also opens up for LNG storage equipment manufacturers.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has further planned of 1,000 LNG fuel stations across all major highways, industrial corridors and mining sectors. Hence, the stone-laying ceremony for 50 LNG fuel stations is just the beginning. Moreover, it is an important part of an intended bigger picture of a gas-based economy, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PM’s Vision – Turning India into Gas-based Economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his vison of gas-based economy a couple of years back where he said that the government will more than double city gas networks to 400 districts, quadruple piped cooking gas connections to households to 2 crore and also set up 10,000 CNG dispensing stations. Thus, the LNG fuel stations along National Highways is one among the many thrust points.

The larger goal India wants to achieve by adopting a gas-dominated set up was also explained by PM Modi. A gas-based economy helps to increase the share of environment-friendly fuel in the energy basket from 6.2 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030. This will aid to meet India’s COP-21 (Climate Change Conference) commitment of cutting emission intensity by 33-35 per cent.

Along with equipping the country to transition to a gas-based economy, efforts to make LNG further cost-effective are also underway. This was reflected in the words of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan when he spoke at the 10th World PetroCoal Congress in February 2020.

“Global supply of LNG is increasing at a rapid pace, and globally LNG prices are coming down significantly. It is time for our companies to take a relook at the term-contracts with major LNG suppliers. I also believe that the time has come for changing the pricing formulae for purchase of LNG by India.”

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