India’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bus was launched today by the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in the presence of Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan at Thiruvananthapuram, the state’s capital city. Introduced as a pilot project, it is hoped the natural gas powered bus will spearhead a drive to adopt LNG fuel and reduce carbon emissions.
The project is the outcome of collaboration between Petronet LNG Limited (PLL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd, aiming to introduce LNG as a fuel in commercial vehicles in Thiruvananthapuram. The LNG fueled bus is being launched as part of a national plan of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to use LNG directly for mass transportation, lower the environmental impact of transport emissions and simultaneously generate savings. A successful transition to this cleaner fuel will assist India to meet its COP21 commitment.
Refuelling took place at the PLL Kochi LNG Terminal. The LNG fuel tank was provided by Chart Industries, USA. As it is a pilot project, the LNG-driven bus will run on trial basis before it can be certified for commercial application.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan complemented the Chief Minister and the people of Kerala for the beginning of a new era of gas-based transportation in the State.
The Government of India has already announced that it is planning to use LNG, which is cheaper than diesel, as a fuel for Railways and long-haul transportation. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, which has a fleet of 6,000 buses, has already announced plans to use natural gas. LNG is greener as well as more economical as compared to diesel and is recognised as an alternative fuel suited to the heavy duty transportation segment, such as for trucks and buses.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has already released draft notification for use of LNG as an automotive fuel. Final notification is expected to be released soon. Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) has formed an expert committee to form regulations for installation of LNG fuel tanks and dispensing stations, which are also expected to be released at an early date.
(Source: Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas)