Thiruvananthapuram: The country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled bus was launched here on Tuesday by Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
In presence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and top officials of oil and gas industry officials, the launch took place on the sidelines of the “Fourth Conference of State Transport Minister”.
The project is a joint effort of Petronet LNG Limited (PLL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd.
While the gas was filled at PLL Kochi LNG Terminal, the LNG fuel tank was provided by Chart Industries, USA.
Pradhan said it is a pilot project and the LNG-driven bus will run on trial-basis before being certified for commercial operation.
The LNG-fuelled bus is being launched as part of a plan of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to use LNG directly for mass transportation to reduce carbon emissions in the country and, at the same time, generating savings.
Kerala State Transport Minister AK Saseendran told reporters later that studies have shown that as compared to diesel, there will be a saving of 40 per cent in fuel costs if buses run on LNG.
“We are certainly going to take this forward. But, for this to become a reality, we should have LNG filling stations, and we will play our part to use this fuel in our state-owned transport corporation vehicles,” said Saseendran.
A Kerala Motor Vehicles Department official said now that this has been launched, it is a formality to clear LNG as a fuel, and it would be done here at the earliest.
The Government of India has already announced that it is planning to use LNG, which is cheaper than diesel, as a fuel for the railways and long-haul transportation.
Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister GS Bali informed on the occasion that they have decided to look into all alternate forms of fuel as they are very particular about environment protection.
LNG is greener and an environmentally-friendly fuel with less number of NOx, SOx and particulate matters as compared to any other automotive fuel.
In LNG, CO2 emission is also lesser than diesel. Introduction of LNG in transport segment will also help India meet its COP21 commitment.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH) has already released draft notifcation for use of LNG as an automotive fuel.
The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) has formed an expert committee to form regulations for installation of LNG Fuel tank and dispensing stations, which is expected to be released soon.
Petronet LNG Limited, one of the fastest growing world-class companies in the Indian energy sector, has set up the country’s first LNG receiving and regasification terminal at Dahej, Gujarat, and another terminal at Kochi.
Formed as a joint venture by the Government of India to import LNG and set up its terminals in the country, it involves India’s leading oil and natural gas industry players.
The promoters are Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), GAIL (India) Ltd (GAIL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC). The authorised capital is Rs 1,200 crore.