• Shell India starts LNG truck-loading unit at Hazira

    Royal Dutch Shell’s India unit on Tuesday announced the start of operation of its small-scale LNG supply with a truck-loading unit being inaugurated at its LNG import terminal at Hazira in Gujarat. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the LNG truck-loading unit, the company and the oil ministry said in separate statements.

    Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said the unit will boost the availability of natural gas in off-grid areas where there are no gas pipelines and also promote the use of LNG in long-haul trucking.

    The government is promoting the use of natural gas through various policy and regulatory reforms towards making India a gas-based economy by raising the share of gas in the nation’s primary energy mix to 15 per cent from the current 6.2 per cent.

    Small-scale LNG can play an important role in realizing this target as it enhances clean energy access across the country.

    Gas is traditionally transported through pipelines from gas fields or liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. Trucking LNG to users has lately emerged as an option to take the fuel to small and stranded users.

    “While gas customers in industrial clusters are expected to be the primary beneficiaries, small-scale LNG will also support the market seeding and development of the recently licensed city gas distribution (CD) geographical areas, not yet connected by pipelines,” Shell Energy India said in the statement.

    Apart from industrial and CGD segments, the small-scale LNG supply infrastructure will also contribute to the development of a conducive ecosystem for faster adoption of LNG as the preferred transportation fuel, especially for long-haul transport.

    The truck-loading unit will augment Shell’s natural gas supply offerings in India to include the supply of LNG via trucks.

    Shell Energy India owns and operates a 5 million tonnes a year LNG import terminal at Hazira (Surat), Gujarat.

    The terminal has been in operation since 2005 and received more than 600 LNG cargoes to date.

    “In early 2019, we acquired additional 26 per cent equity in the Hazira Terminal and created a fully-owned and integrated Shell value chain – supply from our global LNG portfolio, regasification at the Hazira facility, and downstream customer sales.

    “This development extends our downstream customer offering and now, in addition to the supply of R-LNG via pipeline, we can also supply LNG by trucks to customers across India,” Nakul Raheja, who has recently taken over as Country Head, Shell Energy India, said.

    Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan complimented Shell for their efforts in expanding the LNG infrastructure in the country.

    “Clean, affordable and reliable energy is the need of the growing population and a key priority for the Government of India,” he said. “The Government is committed to bringing in a clean energy future whilst reducing the adverse impact on the environment.”

    Innovative supply solutions like LNG by trucks will play a pivotal role in the development of gas markets across the country including hinterlands. “This infrastructure will also help support in the development of LNG as a clean transportation fuel,” he said.

    Pradhan said increasing competition in the LNG sector will help in the emergence of new markets, create new employment opportunities, ensure cleaner fuels for industries and facilitate environment conservation.

    “We are committed to increasing the clean energy share in our energy mix to transform into a gas-based economy, address issues of climate change and build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.

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