'Relax three-year mobile CNG station rule!'

Vol 26, PW 5 (23 Feb 23) Midstream, Downstream, Renewables

Vocal gas retailers who attended a public consultation on February 10 (2023) have welcomed a PNGRB move to allow them to include Mobile Refuelling Units (MRU) in their CNG minimum work programme (MWP) targets.

Typically installed on trucks, MRUs are mobile CNG refuelling stations that can easily be moved from location to location. Under the PNGRB proposal, gas retailers can use them to sell CNG in remote areas with little or no gas pipeline connectivity.

But almost unanimously, gas retailers objected to the PNGRB's caveat that an MRU would only count as a CNG station in a particular location for up to three years. After three years, the company must construct a CNG station at the site for it to continue to be counted against its MWP.

Overseeing the public consultation were PNGRB members Gajendra Singh, AK Tiwari and Ajit Kumar Pande. Also in attendance were representatives from gas retailers GAIL, Torrent Gas, Adani Total, Haryana City Gas and Gujarat Gas, and Delhi-based MRU manufacturer Chroma Power Systems.

GAIL welcomed the PNGRB's move to consider MRUs as CNG stations but stressed that the most advantageous use of such units would be if they could be moved from location to location, not just stationed in one place for three years. "For the first three years, such MRUs can be stationed at different locations according to a pre-scheduled time slot for each location," we hear.

From the fourth year, the MRU could be continuously deployed at one location, according to GAIL. Gujarat Gas made a similar argument, arguing that the three-year rule would restrict the mobility of the MRU, defeating its purpose.

Haryana City Gas also asked the PNGRB to consider that 'captive' CNG stations set up for specific customers like malls, theatres, and parking areas should be regarded as CNG stations under the MWP. Adani Total Gas said continuously keeping an MRU at a particular location is not feasible because the MRU needs to go to a mother station to refill.