Tata Motors planning LNG 'corridor' with IOC

Vol 19, PW 9 (14 Jan 16) Midstream & Downstream

Tata Motors is partnering IndianOil to set up the country’s first ‘LNG corridor’ – a proposed 2500-km stretch of LNG fuel stations which will allow Tata to roll out a line of LNG-fuelled trucks.

“We’ll be making and selling the trucks,” says a senior Tata source. “IOC will supply the LNG fuel to these trucks.

” Tata and IOC formed their partnership last year (2015) after Tata unveiled its Tata Prima 4032.S LNG - the first truck to run on LNG in India – at the Auto Expo 2014 trade fare held in Delhi.

The technology is similar to CNG-fuelled vehicles except that the CNG cylinder is replaced with a cryogenic LNG tank and a heat exchanger. But the advantage of LNG is that it has 2.7 times the fuel density of CNG allowing greater storage.

A single LNG truck has already been commissioned and is running on Indian roads since mid-2015, fuelled by IOC at the Tata Motors Engineering Research Centre at Pune in Maharashtra. By 2017, IOC hopes to begin setting up fuel stations along a stretch running from north Gujarat through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa and Kerala.

Setting up each LNG station will cost around Rs5-6cr ($750-$900,000). Tata Motors is planning commercial production of LNG-fuelled trucks in the next two years.

Cars currently using CNG can also be converted to LNG fuel by installing an “evaporator and convertor.”

LNG Summit