Delhi to lead Indian trucking into gas age
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.