Saturday, November 26, 2005

Environment-friendly fuels in Bangalore soon

Environment-friendly fuels in Bangalore soon

The Hindu

GAIL, Bharat Petroleum to sign MoU on Monday

# KSRTC ready to switch over to CNG if it is freely available in State
# Availability of PNG, CNG will check illegal diversion of LPG cylinders
# Use of such fuels will reduce pollution level

Bangalore: Environment-friendly fuels such as Piped Natural Gas (PNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) will soon be available in Bangalore and Kochi for domestic, commercial, industrial and automotive uses.

Public sector GAIL (India) Ltd. and the State-owned oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Kochi on November 28 for implementing city gas projects in Karnataka and Kerala, a senior official with GAIL has said.

Joint venture companies

The MoU will enable GAIL and BPCL to set up separate joint venture companies (JVCs) for implementation of city gas projects in Karnataka and Kerala for the supply of PNG to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers and CNG and auto LPG to automobile consumers.

As per plans, GAIL and BPCL would have a 22.5 per cent equity each in the joint venture company, 5 per cent stake would be held by the respective State governments and the balance equity of 50 per cent in each JVC shall be offered to strategic partners, financial institutions and the public, the official said.

"The use of PNG and CNG for domestic, commercial, industrial and automotive uses will be a reality now and in turn will reduce environmental pollution by reducing the pollutants level by virtue of using clean, green fuel," he said.

Combined with its relatively low cost, this may push many commercial, industrial and automobile consumers in Bangalore and Kochi to opt for PNG and CNG. In fact, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has already expressed a desire to switch over to the environment friendly and low cost CNG if it is freely available in the State.

Autorickshaws are also a big potential candidate for using CNG or auto LPG.

"The availability of PNG and CNG will also check illegal diversion of the highly subsidised LPG cylinder meant for domestic purposes to commercial uses," he said. PNG and CNG may also be made available in more cities in Karnataka that are located along a pipeline proposed to be built by GAIL.

The city gas projects in Karnataka and Kerala will source its fuel requirements from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal being built by Petronet LNG Ltd. in Kochi.

GAIL is one of the entities responsible for marketing the re-gassified LNG from the Kochi terminal. "PNG and CNG would become available after the LNG terminal starts operations," the official said.

GAIL is implementing several city gas projects in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan and Gujarat through joint ventures with public sector oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and BPCL.


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