No more CNG

Govt plans LPG for vehicles, commercial and domestic sector

The government is planning to initiate the use of LPG, in place of CNG, in transport, commercial and domestic sector to boost the country’s industrialization as well as ensure proper utilization of assets. The government is going to finalise a policy in this regard soon. The draft of the Natural Gas Allocation Policy- 2019 has already been prepared. The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources has called an inter-ministerial meeting on 9 September to finalise the draft policy.

As per the draft policy, the government will motivate the transport sector for using liquefied petroleum gas or LPG instead of compressed natural gas or CNG, and at a stage will stop supply of CNG for vehicles. Instead, LPG will be supplied. Use of LPG will be increased in domestic and commercial sector too. Besides, the government has taken initiative to shut ineffectual captive power plants, to increase use of alternative fuel for production of goods and fix separate price of gas for heavy industries.

An official of the Ministry of Energy said the draft policy has been prepared keeping in mind the country’s development goal, domestic natural resources, international gas situation, changed demand and technology. Industrialization and proper utilization of assets have been given the most importance during preparing the policy. It is said in the draft policy that the demand of electronic, hybrid and battery-run vehicles are increasing worldwide. Demand of Autogas (LPG) is also increasing gradually. An Autogas-run vehicle can run four to five times more than that of with same amount of CNG. Besides, LPG is comparatively safer, more dependable and less risky. It is logical to motivate people for using Autogas in the transport sector. Besides, regulatory support will be provided for domestic and commercial use of LPG in place of CNG, the draft policy quoted. 

In the draft policy, the industrial sector has been given the highest importance for supplying of gas. Later come fertilizer, electricity, captive power and tea garden. Commercial, CNG and domestic sector are at the tail of the list of importance. Several initiatives have been taken in the draft policy to ensure proper use of gas. Among them, use of up to date machineries and introduction of meter system at every stage are worth mentioning.  The government will take initiative for import of energy-efficient machines and giving incentive for the clients. Besides, audit system will be introduced at the organisations that use big amount of gas. Audit farms approved by Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) will conduct such audit. 

The draft policy also opined for preparing a calendar for pre-determining about how much gas will be supplied to which sector. There is also a plan, is necessary, to refix price for the organizations that use big amount of gas through mutual understanding. The government will make an information storehouse for the large scale gas user organisations.   

The draft policy further said, the sectors that will keep more contribution to the national economy, will get priority for getting gas supply. The industrial sector will get the most importance while the domestic sector will get the least. The present ratio of gas supply to the energy sector will also be reduced. Highest 50 percent of the total gas supply will go for electricity and captive power sector. 

At present, the daily supply of natural gas in the country is 320 crore cubic feet, among which, local production is 270 crore cubic feet. To meet the excess demand, liquefied natural gas or LNG is being imported. The price of imported LNG is much higher than that of locally supplied gas. However, the government wants to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas in the country to achieve the goal of Vision 2021 and Vision 2041. 

As LNG import is very expensive, so the sectors or organisations dependent on gas that save and earn foreign currency will get priority for getting gas supply. Besides, economic zones and planned industrial areas will get supply of gas on priority basis, the draft policy said.