Kerala becomes first State in India to roll out LNG-powered bus

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  • A new chapter in the country’s transport sector has been initiated which moves towards clean fuel, India’s first liquefied natural gas-driven bus was launched in Kerala.
  • Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan jointly flagged off the first pilot run of the eco-friendly bus on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of the Group of Ministers, set up by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • It has been a joint effort of Petronet LNG Limited (PLL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd to introduce LNG as a fuel in commercial vehicles in the state capital.
  • LNG fueled Bus was brought to PLL Kochi LNG Terminal for LNG filling. LNG fuel tank was provided by M/s Chart Industries, USA. As it is a pilot project, the LNG-driven bus will run on trial basis before it can be certified for commercial application.
  • The LNG pipeline was one the major topics of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pinarayi Vijayan during the latter’s first New Delhi visit after taking charge as Kerala Chief Minister,
  • After the meeting, the Prime Minister had asked him to coordinate things in this regard and Kerala CM had assured all help to complete laying of GAIL pipeline in Kochi-Mangaluru stretch
  • On Kerala’s natural gas expansion plans, Pradhan said IOC planned to set up five CNG stations at Ernakulum by March 2017 and would provide Piped Natural Gas to 4000 households.
  • The PNG connections would increase to 41,000 by 2020.
  • The company has also finalised an arrangement with Kerala State Road Transport Corporation to set up an integrated fuel complex at its various depots in the state having provision to dispense different fuels, including LNG and CNG to vehicles
  • The Government of India has already announced that it is planning to use LNG, which is cheaper than diesel, as a fuel for Railways and long-haul transportation.
  • The KSRTC, which has a fleet of 6,000 buses, has already announced plans to use natural gas. LNG is greener as well as more economical as compared to Diesel. LNG is more suitable for heavy duty segment like Trucks and Buses.
  • LNG is an environmentally friendly fuel with less number of Nox, Sox and particulate matters, as compared to any other automotive fuel. Co2 emission is also lesser than Diesel. Introduction of LNG in transport segment will also help India to meet its COP21 commitment.

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