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NEW DELHI : Govt aims to reduce diesel use, plans 10,000 cr investment in LNG retail

Petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said Indian firms are likely spend 10,000 crore over three years on 1,000 liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals along main roads, industrial hubs and in mining areas of the country to cut the fossil fuel consumption.

"LNG is going to be the fuel of the future for transport, and in this regard, retro-fitting of the vehicles as well as development by original equipment manufacturers is being undertaken," Pradhan said at a foundation-laying ceremony for 50 LNG stations.

The government will set up LNG stations at the distance of 200-300 km on golden quadrilateral, and within 3 years, we will have 1000 LNG stations on all major roads, industrial hubs and mining areas. He expressed confidence that 10% of the trucks will adopt LNG as fuel, the petroleum and natural gas minister added.

The minister said even if the LNG vehicle segment achieves 10% market share in a fleet of 10 million trucks, it will have a positive impact on reducing emissions and substituting crude.

He said LNG is not only almost 40% cheaper than diesel but also causes very less pollution. The use of LNG in heavy vehicles will not only cut the fuel costs but also help contain inflation. The minister urged the automobile makers to look at producing LNG-compatible vehicles.

Pradhan said the government will continue to promote CNG vehicles, Electric vehicles, Auto-LPG, but at the same time, LNG as long-haul fuel will be pushed.

He said the companies will set up LNG fuelling stations along a 6,000-km network of highways linking the four main metropolitan areas. The transport sector can utilise up to 25 million cubic meters a day equivalent LNG in the initial phase, the minister added.

The minister said these fifty LNG stations will be set up and commissioned in partnership by country’s Oil & Gas majors such as IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GAIL, PLL, Gujarat Gas and their Joint Venture Companies and subsidiaries. Out of these 50 LNG stations, IOCL will set up 20 LNG Station, while BPCL and HPCL will set up 11 each LNG station.

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