Threat of LNG by truck model unites GAIL-GSPL

Vol 20, PW 3 (20 Oct 16) Midstream & Downstream

They rarely agree on anything, but rivals GAIL and Gujarat State Petronet today stand united in slamming the growing trend of transporting LNG by truck which they view as a threat to their core gas transmission business through pipelines.

The trigger for this disquiet came on September 28 when Bharat Petroleum and Ahmedabad-based partner INOX despatched their 5000th LNG truck from Dahej in a programme underway since 2010 when supplies first began to the General Motors plant at Halol. But a bitter Gujarat Petronet source sees no reason to celebrate.

"Delivering LNG by truck is not commercially viable and it is unsafe," he complains. "Accidents are common on Indian roads.

Imagine what would happen if a LNG truck is involved in such an accident? In terms of fuel consumed and pollutants released by vehicles in transit it also harms the environment." A GAIL source joins the chorus saying LNG delivered by truck can only be a temporary solution until pipelines are laid. "With LNG nobody can take a chance," he insists.

"The best option is to pipe gas." Naturally BPCL does not share these views. "After our success with General Motors we've added many customers," boasts a company source.

"Our trucking operations continue without interruption since 2010." He adds that thousands of trucks carry petrol and diesel in India every day and that LNG is much less hazardous than liquid fuels.

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