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India to see $66 bn investment in gas infra

India to see $66 bn investment in gas infra


Govt is targeting to raise the share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15% by 2030 from the current 6.3%

New Delhi: India will see a massive $66 billion investment in the building of gas infrastructure as the government pushes for greater use of the cleaner fuel with a view to cutting down carbon emissions, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.

The government is targeting raising the share of natural gas in its energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.3 per cent. This will entail gas consumption rising manifolds from current 160-170 million standard cubic meters per day.

To cater to this, liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity is being raised, new pipelines laid to transport the fuel, and city gas infrastructure expanded to take the fuel to users, he said at KPMG India’s annual energy conclave ENRich 2020 here.

“An estimated investment of $66 billion is lined up in developing gas infrastructure, which includes pipelines, city gas distribution, and LNG regasification terminals,” he said adding 14,700-km gas pipelines are being added to the existing network of 16,800-km to form a national gas grid.

He, however, did not give breakup or timelines of the investment. Elaborating on India’s energy strategy going forward, he said apart from achieving the renewable energy target of 450 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, India will focus on developing in an integrated manner a gas-based economy, cleaner use of fossil fuels, greater reliance on domestic fuels to drive biofuels and moving into emerging fuels, like hydrogen.

LNG import terminals and capacity additions are planned on both east and west coast. Also, the city gas network of retailing CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households and kitchens has been extended to 407 districts. Besides CNG, the government is also promoting the use of LNG as fuel on long-haul trucks and buses.

“Recently, we have laid the foundation stone for the first 50 LNG fueling stations across the golden quadrilateral and major National Highways. Our goal is to set up 1000 LNG stations within 3 years which is likely to add about 20-25 mmscmd of new gas demand by 2035,” he said.

Besides, the National Biofuel Policy (NBP) is targeting blending of 20 per cent ethanol in petrol and 5 per cent of bio-diesel by 2030. “Biofuel is not just science but also a Mantra that will provide new energy to not only India but also the entire world. It has the power to create a balance between our environment and economic development,” he said.

India is the third-largest energy consumer after the US and China. Its energy demand increased to 882 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2017. According to BP Energy outlook 2020, India’s energy demand would grow at about 3 per cent per annum till 2040. “Our estimated per capita energy consumption would be half of the world average by 2040.” India has committed to reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent from 2005 levels.

“Our energy agenda is inclusive, market-based and climate-sensitive. We have adopted multiple pathways for the energy transition,” he said. India is targeting 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.

The solar installed capacity in India has increased by more than 13 times from 2.63 GW in March 2014 to 34.81 GW in April 2020. Pradhan said India is an attractive investment destination for the energy sector as several policy reforms have enhanced ease of doing business.

US must resume supplies from Iran: Govt
India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, wants the new US administration to allow resumption of oil supplies from Iran and Venezuela so as to give the country more options to meet its requirements, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday. “As a buyer, I would like to have more buying places. I should have more destinations to go for purchasing (of oil),” Pradhan said in response to a question about his expectations for the resumption of oil imports from Iran and Venezuela under a Joseph Biden presidency.

Iran was India’s second-biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11, but Western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme led to reduced volumes. India stopped importing crude oil from Iran following the re-imposition of economic sanctions in May 2019, by the US.

Venezuela was India’s fourth-biggest oil supplier but import dwindled after Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA in January 2019, to put pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Source: PTI
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network