BPCL plans two LNG fuel stations by March 2022

Vol 24, PW 18 (29 Jul 21) Midstream, Downstream, Renewables

Under oil ministry orders, BPCL has begun work to set up two LNG fuel stations by March (2022).

On November 19 (2020), former oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan tasked BPCL with setting up 11 of 50 such stations across India under a government-back initiative to promote LNG fuel. A BPCL source tells us the first two will be in Tamil Nadu on the highway connecting Tirupur, a hosiery products manufacturing hub.

"The others will come up in quick succession," he adds. BPCL has hired Tractebel to manage this project to set up LNG dispensers at its petrol stations or IndianOil and HPCL stations.

BPCL tells us setting up each LNG dispenser at a petrol station owned by a state-owned oil company typically costs between Rs8cr ($1.1m) and Rs10cr ($1.4m), while a new standalone facility costs Rs12cr ($1.7m), including land costs. Gas sales will depend on the number of trucks converted to LNG fuel.

"Converting each truck (from diesel to LNG) costs Rs50 lakhs ($71,000)," he says. "Trucks that are five or seven years old will get converted; we expect engine manufacturers to enter this business."

BPCL sees growth across the rest of its CGD business and plans to begin CNG sales through a new station at Bellary in Karnataka next month (August). By March (2021), BPCL was operating 55 CNG stations: 42 were commissioned in the year to March (2021), with plans to commission another 50 by March (2022).

BPCL presently sells gas in Rupnagar (Punjab), Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), and Rohtak (Haryana) - all won in CGD-VI. It also sells gas in Aurangabad and Ahmednagar and Satara and Sangli in Maharashtra from CGD-IX.

BPCL began CNG sales in mid-July (2021) in Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Most of BPCL's gas is transported through cylinders to its CNG outlets far from gas pipelines.

Sales from each outlet range from 1000-kg/day to 5000-kg/day. For a full breakdown of LNG cargo arrivals to India, with landing prices and volumes, subscribe to the LNG Dipla database from Petrowatch.com