Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest LNG infrastructure company, will adopt a three-pronged strategy to expand its business in the country after the government allowed marketing and distribution of LNG by any entity. As part of this strategy, the company will set up 1,350 LNG filling stations across major national highways.
Petronet seeks to boost LNG infrastructure on highways where the fuel is largely unavailable for heavy vehicles. “There is a level playing field now for setting up of LNG station. So we have planned our LNG corridor development in three phases,” said Vinod K Mishra, director finance, Petronet LNG.
In the first phase, the company will set up 50 stations on five major highways, including Western Corridor and Southern Corridor, by 2021. In the second phase, it plans to develop around 300 LNG stations on all highways, while in the third phase it will build 1,000 stations.
India has a total of 87 national highways which interconnect the country’s capital and state capitals through important cities. Petronet LNG expects that considering 25% of highways has major medium and heavy commercial vehicles circulating on them, traffic from various ports, mines, petrochemical complexes, FMCG industries and logistics hubs, 35,000 km of highways will be covered.
“In most cases, we shall be tying up either with city gas distribution companies, oil market companies and other players because our intention is not to go too much in retail but enhance the usage of LNG in the automotive sector, especially in the long-haul trucks and interstate buses,” added Mishra.
On June 7, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said any eligible entity can set up an LNG station anywhere in the country. This was done to not only promote LNG as an alternative fuel for heavy vehicles but also help reduce the country’s dependence on oil, over 80% of which is imported in the country.