The union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, while inaugurating Blue Energy Motors’ LNG (liquefied natural gas) truck manufacturing plant in Chakan on the outskirts of Pune, said that India is capable of meeting its demand for cleaner fossil fuel alternatives such as LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) through focus on processing and investing in biomass.
“India has to import a large amount of crude oil from overseas, which is one of the reasons why our economy is facing pressures. LNG is a fuel for the future, being cost-effective and having economic viability. We are investing in projects where LNG and CNG can be produced from biomass, with two projects already underway in Pune and Yavatmal. Within two years, we can have 200 projects of bio LNG and bio CNG. We don’t need to import them, if we make them from biomass. For example, nine tonnes of cotton straw produces one tonne of bio-CNG,” Gadkari said, in his address.
Blue Energy Motors said that its Chakan plant was the first of its kind in India, producing LNG “green” heavy-duty trucks for the Indian market. Anirudh Bhuwalka, Blue Energy’s CEO, added that the first trucks are currently undergoing testing and certification, and are expected to be commercially rolled out later in September. Bhuwalka added that the trucks’ 1,000 litre-capacity LNG tanks will have a range of around 1,400 kilometres, with the related infrastructure, especially LNG stations, being gradually built up. The union government currently has a plan to set up 1,000 LNG stations over the next five years.