India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has drawn attention to the state of Goa on the country’s west coast as a development centre for alternative fuels for marine and land-based transportation. Potential users of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) include naval vessels build by Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL). If it goes ahead, the proposed green energy fuel chain will be the first of its kind in India.
GSL, in collaboration with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas plans to use natural gas as fuel for next generation naval warships and coastguard vessels. The project, currently in the proposal stage, will be undertaken as a pilot study through an agreement with the key stakeholders.
“I have suggested this to Goa Shipyard and the Indian Coast Guard, and maybe GAIL will partner with these two agencies. We want to have a pilot study to see whether we can use LNG or CNG as a fuel, which is cheaper and cleaner for marine shipping,” Pradhan said. He made the proposal to GSL during the commissioning the Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Shaurya a few days ago, prompting the parties to develop a technology MoU.
Pradhan pointed out that natural gas marine fuel developments around the world suggest there is great potential in Goa to use LNG and CNG for high speed and low speed surveillance boats. Shaurya is the fifth in a series of six offshore patrol vessels built by GSL.
Green Fuel for Goa
The Minister has requested the State Government work with the Union Government to develop Goa, one of India’s key tourist destinations, as a 100% green fuel region over the next few years. He said that there is enough raw material in Goa, which is generated through agriculture, tourism and fisheries industries for creating alternative fuel such as renewable natural gas (RNG). The success of this first initiative will determine roll-out of the model to other parts of India.
Already GAIL Gas Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited, has established a gas pipeline network in Goa. Future plans include the setting up of a CNG refueling station network.
At the opening of the Saligao garbage treatment plant at Margao in June, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar spoke of plans to power State-run buses on CNG, with trials to commence by December this year. Renewable natural gas harvested by the plant may be enough to fuel between 200 – 250 buses with CNG.
Source: Indian Defence Research Wing and regional news services