Delhi to lead In­dian truck­ing into gas age

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - San­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: Delhi will lead In­dian truck­ing into the gas age. In­draprastha Gas Ltd, the cap­i­tal’s sole sup­plier of com­pressed nat­u­ral gas, is work­ing on a plan to con­vert the fleet of heavy-duty trail­ers haul­ing con­tain­ers be­tween the Tugh­laqabad in­land port and the in­dus­trial belt stretch­ing up to Re­wari in Haryana.

“TCI has a fleet of 40 trail­ers. We are dis­cussing converting them to LNG (liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas), be­gin­ning with nine ve­hi­cles. LNG is clean-burn­ing fuel and will help re­duce emis­sion from heavy ve­hi­cles,” IGL man­ag­ing direc­tor E S Ran­ganathan told TOI.

This will be the first com­mer­cial truck­ing op­er­a­tion in the coun­try – once it starts –and mark In­dian trans­port sec­tor’s en­try to the LNG covenant. For a coun­try where the trans­port sec­tor guz­zles 40% of diesel sales, the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit from LNG, in terms of re­duced ve­hic­u­lar pol­lu­tion, will be huge. China and the US are cur­rently the world lead­ers in converting their high­way freight ser­vice.

Ran­ganathan said con­ver­sion of each trailer will cost Rs 9 lakh and take about three months since it would en­tail im­port­ing fuel tanks etc. “LNG will be cheaper than diesel. Sav­ings on fuel cost and green en­try tax of Rs 6,000 to­gether will pay back the cost of con­ver­sion in seven months. We have of­fered a fi­nan­cial model to fund the con­ver­sion,” Ran­ganathan said. LNG is heav­ier than CNG and has more heat­ing value and of­fers a range of 700-800 km on a full tank, which is the same as a truck run­ning on diesel. These qual­i­ties make LNG suit­able for heavy-duty en­gines. Un­der an In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion, all ships are to switch to LNG from April 2020.

In­dia’s largest gas im­porter Petronet LNG has been talk­ing about converting truck­ing on the west coast high­way con­nect­ing Delhi with Tri­van­drum, cov­er­ing a to­tal dis­tance of 4,500 km via Mum­bai and Bengaluru, for the last two years but with­out much suc­cess.

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