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CNG distribution networks in India to be expanded

Sep 29,2013
CNG distribution networks in India to be expanded
NEW DELHI: The steep increase in petrol prices has led to greater demand for compressed natural gas (CNG), which is much cheaper than the former, and prompted customers to install kits to run their vehicles on the low-cost fuel. Delhi has more CNG vehicles and CNG stations than any other city in the country. According to Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the state-owned automotive and domestic gas retailer, out of 527 CNG stations in India in 2009-10, Delhi had 188. Every state-run bus that runs in Delhi runs on CNG. Delhi Transport Corporation operates the largest single fleet of CNG buses in the world. Out of 684,974 CNG vehicles on the Indian roads, Delhi has 13,000 buses run on CNG. According to IGL managing director Rajesh Vedvyas, "CNG has grown into one of the major fuel sources for vehicles. IGL is planning to spread the use of CNG across India. Automobile manufacturers like GM, Hyundai, Tata and Suzuki are introducing CNG variants and more car makers will introduce CNG variants soon." CNG is being seen as the most promising transport fuel. The use of CNG is mandated for the public transport system of New Delhi as well as for the city of Ahmedabad. According to Vedvyas: "Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), the regulatory body for the petroleum and natural gas sector, is targeting 200 cities for rollout of city gas distribution projects by 2015. Further, CNG is much more economical than its liquid fuel substitutes as it helps reduce oil imports, fuel subsidies and air pollution cost, and is a cheaper source of energy. CNG demand and infrastructure has achieved significant scale in various Indian cities, Vedvyas says. According to him, "IGL has crossed 56 million man-hours of accident-free operations without reportable lost time accidents." Many countries use CNG as their primary source of fuel for automobiles. Statistics show increase in the popularity of CNG across the globe. In 1920, Italy started the use of natural gas as automobile fuel. Subsequently, in the early 1980s, use of CNG gained popularity in New Zealand. As of 2008, there were more than seven million natural gas vehicles (NGVs) on the roads across the globe. South America led with a global market share of 48%. According to data available with IGL, there are a large number of NGVs in Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Iran and India. At present, as many as 80 countries are pursuing CNG programmes.


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