New Delhi: Expanding the reach of environment-friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in various areas, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated 42 CNG stations and three city gate stations of Torrent Gas and dedicated them to the service of the community. The inauguration took place through video conference on Tuesday. These CNG stations are located across various states — 14 in Uttar Pradesh, eight in Maharashtra, six in Gujarat, four in Punjab and five each in Telangana and Rajasthan. The City Gate Stations include one each in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab.
Torrent Gas has the authorisation to lay City Gas Distribution network in 32 districts across seven states and one Union Territory (UT).
Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan called upon all CGD agencies to grow into Comprehensive Energy Retailers. He said that the government has visualised that consumers, as per their purchasing capacity and their choice of fuel, should be able to buy any type of fuel from the retail outlet — be it petrol, diesel, CNG, LNG or electric charging. He also said that the government wants to supply fuel through mobile dispensers so that consumers can get fuel at their doorstep, as per their convenience. The minister said that the strategy is being expanded to include battery swapping facilities as well. The minister advocated adopting the digital platforms on a large scale, in every aspect of transaction.
Pradhan said that India will become the largest energy consumer in the world in the coming years. He said that the development of CGD network in India is in line with the vision of achieving the COP-21 Climate Change goals set for 2030. In the Solar energy sector, India has already become the role model. Pradhan said that an investment of about $60 billion, which is more than Rs 4 lakh crore, is being made in the gas infrastructure which includes laying of pipelines, terminals and gas fields. He said that the country is moving towards gas-based economy, which is not only a clean and efficient fuel but will also help in reducing the country's dependence on imported crude oil.
Pradhan called upon CGD companies to also invest in the biomass-based plants to produce Compressed Bio-gas (CBG), using agriculture residues, forest produce, city waste and gobar (cow dung). He said that 500 such plants are already being set up, and the target is to reach 5,000 such plants. He said that during the pandemic, our Corona-warriors, braving the threats, ensured timely supply to consumers at their doorsteps.
Speaking on the occasion, Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor lauded the efforts of CGD entities to meet their targets, despite the Covid problem. He said that in India's quest to transform into a gas-based economy, establishment and augmentation of distribution networks is pivotal in order to ensure smooth transition towards the enhanced usage of PNG and CNG.
The number of CNG stations has increased to more than double in the country, from 938 CNG stations in the year 2014 to around 2,300 CNG stations in 2020. Together with the existing CNG stations and the ones expected under the 9th and 10th rounds, India is looking at a robust infrastructure of about 10,000 CNG stations in the coming years.
The 9th CGD bidding round, which concluded in 2018, was India's largest-ever, with as many as 174 districts with 86 GAs. The 10th CGD bidding round, covering 124 districts with 50 GAs again witnessed huge interest from investors. The 9th & 10th rounds have cumulatively attracted an investment of around Rs 1,20,000 crore. After these rounds, India shall have CGD infrastructure operational across 407 districts of the country having potential of covering more than 50 percent of the country's area and serving more than 70 percent of the population.
Such large capacity addition in the CGD sector is expected to provide strong demand for PNG meters, PNG regulators, CNG compressors, CNG dispensers and CNG cascades in the forthcoming years. The existence of such assured demand from the CGD sector will provide a strong incentive to increase domestic manufacturing and promote Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and making clean fuel available in various parts of the country.
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