Tatas want LNG recognised as vehicle fuel

Vol 19, PW 11 (11 Feb 16) Midstream & Downstream

Tata Motors is betting on its good relationship with the Narendra Modi government to get LNG listed soon as an automotive fuel.

This is an important regulatory hurdle before Tata can launch a range of LNG-fuelled trucks, buses and other vehicles in line with its plan to set up India’s first LNG corridor – a 2500-km stretch of LNG fuel stations – in partnership with IndianOil. Today, LNG is not included as a commercial fuel in the road transport ministry’s CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules).

“But we’re chasing the road transport ministry to get LNG listed as an automotive fuel and hope to get it done soon,” reports a Tata source. He adds the company is working with Pune-based Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to get LNG fuel certification.

Further approvals are needed from Nagpur-based Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for LNG tank and fuelling areas. Tata adds another major challenge is the lack of guidelines to test LNG components and vehicles.

“In other industries testing is not so important,” we hear. “But our industry is so regulated there are detailed specifications for even the smallest parts.

” Take a small nut and bolt set, which comes with a 200-page set of testing guidelines. With no testing standards in place for LNG-fuelled vehicles, Tata is creating the standards itself then getting them certified by government agencies.