Public sector gas utility GAIL plans to set up a CNG (compressed natural gas) Green Corridor between Jalandhar and Bangalore in another 18 months to enable vehicles to refuel en route, company chairman B.C. Tripathi said.
Through its subsidiaries, GAIL plans to set up CNG outlets along important highways, which will include New Delhi and Mumbai, to provide easy refuelling options for vehicles, Tripathi disclosed .
Currently, the CNG network is essentially confined to the municipal limits of cities such as Delhi, Agra, Indore and Mumbai. It is not possible for CNG driven vehicles to travel between states as there is no refuelling infrastructure along the highways.
"The idea of a CNG Green Corridor is to have CNG outlets at regular intervals along the highways," Tripathi said. Tripathi said this green highway will benefit eight states - Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
Natural gas pipeline infrastructure has seen significant growth in the past few years with current pipeline infrastructure spread over 13,000km.
However, the pipeline density is yet to cover vast stretches of the country leaving a significant market segment out of the national green vehicle market.
The refuelling infrastructure needs significant investments to progressively increase the spread of natural gas as a fuel of choice in the transport sector.
Tripathi explained that the Green Corridor aims to establish the Natural Gas Highway in the country. refuelling infrastructure across the Green Highway will encourage long haul transporters in adopting natural gas vehicles due to increased availability of gas stations.
The operational gas pipelines, right from Bangalore up to Ludhiana provides an opportunity to transform inland transportation and operate on natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and expand the reach of CNG beyond cities.
Operational LNG re-gasification terminals at Hazira, Dahej, Dhabol and Kochi along with operational transportation pipeline network is paving way to fuel the NGV vehicles through a pool of domestic and RLNG (re-gasified liquefied natural gas) mix.
Emphasis is required by the gas companies to create the CNG refuelling infrastructure in a co-ordinated manner to provide CNG refuelling along the highways while automanufactures are required to come forward with long haul NGVs to ply along highways.
The availability of the CNG refuelling stations will ensure the uptake of CNG by NGVs travelling across the highway from Bangalore to Ludhiana spanning states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi Haryana and Punjab.