GAIL moots countrywide CNG corridor to cut oil import bill

GAIL moots countrywide CNG corridor to cut oil import bill

New Delhi, 5 October State-run GAIL India Ltd has mooted a multi-billion-dollar CNG corridor in the country to save up to 60,000 crore in oil bill and cut carbon emissions from automobiles.

“Project to supply CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households can be set up in cities falling on gas pipelines," GAIL chairman and managing director U D Choubey said at the India Energy Summit here.

By 2012, the country will have a grid of criss-cross gas pipelines to take the fuel from new fields like Reliance Industries’ Krishna Godavari basin to consumption centres.

GAIL, the pioneer in city gas distribution networks, has been invited by countries like Iran to replicate the CNG success of Delhi and Mumbai. The state-run firm is setting up networks to sell CNG in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and has applied for licences for Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

“If 25 per cent of the fuel burnt by automobiles is replaced by cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG), the nation can save 15,000 crore in oil bill," he said.

CNG is not only cheaper than auto fuels like petrol and diesel but also cuts carbon emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases.

India spent 1,80,000 crore on oil imports in 2006-07 and 75% of the consumption, which stood at 135 million tons, was made by the transport sector.

“There are already 400 CNG dispensing stations in the country and many more can be set up. What is required is an integrated effort by all the stakeholders," he said.

Choubey stressed on the need for a legislation mandating use of CNG in all automobiles as was done in the transport sector in Delhi.