The Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas has prepared a draft liquefied natural gas (LNG) policy which aims to set up a framework for the promotion of gas and find ways for LNG adoption in sectors which currently does not use it as a fuel. To make LNG the fuel of the future for heavy transport, the policy targets to convert 10% of long haul heavy duty trucks to ply on LNG. The timeline to achieve the target has not been specified in the draft document.
The automotive companies will be incentivised towards manufacturing LNG-based heavy vehicles and creating ancillary manufacturing units through tax exemptions and green certifications, the draft policy said. There is also a plan to create enabling infrastructure for the operation of a virtual gas pipeline for transporting LNG through railways and trucks. To accommodate this, the policy envisages promotion of dedicated highways with extensive LNG infrastructure.
The government has already announced plans to have 1,000 LNG retail outlets, entailing investment of Rs 10,000 crore, in the next five years, and the policy will work towards the target.
On a per-kilometre basis, taking into account engine efficiency and other factors, there is savings of 30-40% for LNG-fuelled transportation vehicles. As the mileage is better, lesser retail outlets for LNG is required to cater to LNG trucks. One fill of LNG can take a loaded LNG truck to around 900 km, while a diesel truck needs a fuel refilling station after every 400-500 km.
The policy aims to create LNG terminals with more than 100 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) along the coastal regions to increase the share of gas in the energy basket to 15% by 2030 from the current level of 6%.