• Gujarat-based City Gas Distribution companies lead CNG station surge

    Gujarat-based city gas distribution (CGD) companies are planning to aggressively add new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. The expansion is driven by the government’s greater push for the usage of cleaner fuels, growing adoption of CNG amid surging petrol and diesel prices, as well as the allotment of new geographical areas for creating CGD networks.

    Companies such as Gujarat Gas Ltd (GGL), Torrent Gas Ltd (TGL) and Sabarmati Gas Ltd (SGL) have chalked out ambitious plans to expand their network of CNG stations next fiscal. In fact, these firms continued adding new stations during the current fiscal despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    “GGL has so far commercialized 107 CNG stations across geographies this fiscal,” said Sanjeev Kumar, managing director, GGL, the largest CGD player in India. Kumar added: “We plan to further increase the number to 150 by March 2021.” The company added 107 stations in just eight months, which was the fastest addition by any company in India during the given timeframe.

    Now, the state-run GGL plans to add 200-plus CNG stations in 2021-22, involving a capital expenditure of about Rs 4 billion. At present, the company has 500 stations in several parts of the country, including Gujarat.

    Torrent Gas intends to set up 150 CNG stations in 2021-22. The private sector CGD player has so far commissioned 86 CNG stations this fiscal and aims to establish 25 more by the end of 2020-21, which will take its total tally of operational CNG stations to 160.

    “The company intends to invest about Rs 10 billion for creating CNG infrastructure over the next five years,” said a spokesperson of Torrent Gas. Sabarmati Gas Ltd set up 26 new stations and plans to reach 30 by March-end. The public sector CGD player aims to establish similar number of new stations in the next fiscal as well, said sources.

    “To ensure wider and faster availability of green fuel, our chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani launched the unique CNG Sahbhaagi Yojana, under which 384 letters of intent (LOIs) have already been issued,” said the managing director of GGL.

    “In order to achieve this, GGL has doubled its executive capabilities.” The company is also setting up a CNG station at Kevadia in Narmada district.

    According to a Torrent Gas spokesperson, there is significant emphasis by the Government of India on the usage of cleaner fuel for transportation and hence there is a general push to set up more CNG stations.

    As petrol and diesel prices have been de-regulated, the price of CNG is cheaper by 50% and 60% when compared with diesel and petrol, respectively. Hence, the consumer adoption of CNG has accelerated.

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