Pipeline infrastructure should be beefed up
NEW DELHI: Seeking to expand the reach of the green fuel across the country, India has drawn up an action plan to increase the number of cities where vehicles ply on CNG to 250 by 2018 from the current 30 cities.
“CNG run vehicles have risen by nearly two lakh in the past one year to 6.50 lakh units. By 2011, we would have 84 cities with authorised city gas operators. CNG retailing would be operational in 64 cities and would be under implementation in the remaining 22 cities,” Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) Chairman L. Mansingh said at the NGV India 2009 conference here.
“The oil regulator is in the process of authorising entities for setting up city gas distribution (CGD) projects entailing retailing of CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households in batches. It would issue authorisation for five cities by this month end,” he said. The authorised entities would rise to 125 by 2013 and would be doubled to 250 by 2018. Of these, 200 cities would have operational CNG dispensing facilities, he said.
Petroleum Secretary R. S. Pandey said none of the national highways had CNG stations. “We have not expanded because we do not have infrastructure to transport gas. Of the initial 40 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) output from Reliance Industries’ eastern offshore KG-D6, 5 mscmd has been allocated for CNG and piped natural gas operations. But I am told none of this can be utilised as there is no infrastructure to transport the gas,” he said. Mr. Pandey stressed on the need for putting up pipeline infrastructure to take the gas to consuming cities. He said the first part of the CNG corridor would come up on the Delhi-Mathura-Agra highway in a couple of months.