Strengthening NGV Ecosystem in India


Strengthening NGV Ecosystem in India

Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) jointly organized an exclusive Virtual Roundtable on “Expansion of Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Ecosystem in India” on 12 July, 2021. The roundtable was aimed at discussions regarding expanding the Natural Gas ecosystem, exploring opportunities for collaboration, raising concerns/issues, etc. The roundtable saw active participation from Top-level executives from Gas & Auto Industries.

The speakers from Gas Industry included Mr Pramod Narang, Director (Technical) – Petronet LNG Ltd and Mr Raman Chadha, CEO – GAIL The speakers from Auto Industry were Mr Ashish Chutani; Head Govt & Policy Affairs, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Mr S Krishnan, Sr Vice President - Product Development, Ashok Leyland.

Commencing the day's proceedings, Mr Prashant K Banerjee, Executive Director, SIAM extended a warm welcome to the speakers and participants. He highlighted that the Government of India has laid out an ambitious plan of expending the CNG & LNG infrastructure across the country and this is possible only with the cooperation between the Gas and Automobile industry leadership. Mr. R K Malhotra, Director General, FIPI in his opening remarks highlighted that Natural gas has been identified as a fuel for reducing pollution and with the start of CNG vehicles in 90’s has helped a lot in reducing the pollution in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. He further added that Natural gas vehicles will be going to play a very important role in achieving the target of 15% gas share in the primary energy basket by 2030. In order to achieve such ambitious target, the gas industry and the Auto Industry has to Collaborate, Cooperate and Coordinate with each other. 

Mr. Pramod Narang, Director (Technical), PLL in his presentation on the “LNG Infrastructure roadmap across India” emphasised that to increase share of natural gas from 6.3% to 15% in the Energy basket by 2030, a massive infrastructure development spanning RLNG Terminals, Natural Gas Transmission pipelines and City Gas Distribution is required and also a need to enhance India’s LNG re-gas infrastructure to around 150 MMTPA (considering 80 % utilization). He highlighted that apart from traditional sectors, new segments like LNG as an automotive fuel in M & HCV Segment of Vehicles, its usage in non-Road segments like Mining Sector and railways could take centre stage in growth story of gas sector in the coming few years.

He further emphasized that PLL has taken the initiatives in India like handed-over 02 busses to KSRTC at Kochi for trial runs, setting up 5 LNG stations, exploring opportunities in Fisheries sector and converted a boat to dual fuels in April 2021.

Mr Raman Chadha, CEO – GAIL Gas in his presentation on the “CNG Infrastructure roadmap across India” highlighted 7% Growth in number of CNG vehicles from Mar’16 to Mar’20, 24% Growth in number of CNG Stations from Mar’16 to Mar’21, improved cost of ownership for CNG vehicles with increase in price of Petrol & Diesel and OEMs coming forward and promoting CNG in NGV Space.


He added that CGD expansion is a significant initiative to leapfrog to higher gas usage and address pollution and CNG network to reach 70% of population and 53% of India’s geographical area by 2029. He further highlighted the Favourable factors for CNG growth in India like Rapid urbanization & increase in population, Domestic gas allocation priority, Expansion of trunk pipeline network, conducive regulatory policy, environmental concern and growing urban pollution, Ban on polluting fuels and attractive economics of natural gas vis-à-vis other fuels like petrol, diesel and LPG.

The next session’s speakers were from Auto Industry. Mr Ashish Chutani; Head Govt & Policy Affairs, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd informed that SIAM has created a group to collaborate with all stakeholders, including Government, Gas companies, component makers to facilitate higher adoption of natural gas vehicles (CNG and LNG) in India. The group represents all vehicle segments (Cars, Three Wheelers, Buses, Heavy Commercial Vehicles). He further informed that there is a huge customer acceptance of CNG vehicles in the country and wherever CNG stations have critical mass, customers have adopted OEM CNG vehicles. There is huge untapped potential for exponential growth of CNG vehicles in the country.

He further emphasised that the Auto industry is committed to develop entire Gas based mobility ecosystem through joint initiatives like developing organized market for CNG, working with CNG component manufacturers for localization in India to reduce cost, customer awareness campaigns, more focus on R&D and actively engaging with Govt. to frame policies for the growth of the CNG industry.

Mr S Krishnan, Sr Vice President - Product Development, Ashok Leyland emphasised that the need of the hour is to have cleaner IC engines- that is having Clean & Renewable fuels, Clean combustion and Lower Emissions and in that direction Ashok Leyland is working to enable Multi Fuel adaptability. By introducing a spark plug provision, Multi fuel capability has been introduced thereby bringing innovation and addressing sustainability. 

While talking about Global NGV trend, he highlighted that each market has a key element, which makes it economically attractive. He further stated that by 2025, nearly one-tenth of medium and heavy-duty trucks sold globally will run on natural gas. China, Europe and North America will account for more than 80% of global natural gas vehicle (NGV) trucks sales in 2025. He emphasized that economics is a strong driver of fleet penetration, but they are secondary to policy decisions.

The next segment of the session was the discussion and interaction between the Gas Industry & Auto Industry. The 2 hour-long session witnessed overwhelming participation across the country's gas and auto industries. Several key issues were taken up for discussion by the participates with the panel of experts.

Lastly, Dr. Sandeep Garg, SIAM thanked speakers from the Gas and the Auto industries and FIPI for collaborating with SIAM for the Virtual Roundtable. The session was brought to an end, wishing all speakers and participants the best of health and happiness during the ongoing battle against COVID-19.