November 20, 2020. India will see an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in the next three years in setting up of liquefied natural gas (LNG) filling stations, a fuel that promises to revolutionize long-haul transport with reduced cost and lesser emissions, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

LNG is favored by long-haul buses and trucks due to its higher energy density than CNG, its ability to give a 600-800 km run on a single fill, and it being 30-40 per cent cheaper than diesel.

So far, India uses petrol, diesel, CNG and auto-LPG as fuels to run automobiles. LNG is a new fuel that can be dispensed from outlets similar to petrol pumps, and is used not just in long-haul buses and trucks but also in running mining equipment, as bunker fuel, and rail locomotives.

LNG will reduce the cost of operation as well as reduce carbon emissions, Pradhan said at the launch of construction of the first 50 LNG dispensing stations. “In the next three years, Rs 10,000 crore will be spent on setting up of 1,000 LNG stations in the private and public sector,” he informed.

“There are around 10 million trucks in the country. If we are able to convert even 10 per cent of them, imagine the savings it will bring considering the fact that LNG is up to 40 per cent cheaper than diesel,” he explained.

LNG as a fuel has almost zero carbon emissions and 85 per cent lesser NOx emissions, he added. The initial 50 LNG stations are being set up on the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) highways connecting four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkatta. “In times to come, there will be an LNG station at every 200-300 km on the GQ and on all major highways,” he said.

Promoting LNG as a fuel is part of the government’s push to raise the share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.2 per cent. Greater use of environmentally friendly natural gas will bring carbon emissions down.