India plans USD 60-bn investment in gas infrastructure: Pradhan
New Delhi: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said the government has planned a USD 60-billion investment for creating gas infrastructure in the country till 2024, and gas’ share in the energy mix is expected to rise to 15 per cent by 2030.
Currently, gas accounts for 6 per cent in the country’s total energy mix.
Speaking at Assocham Foundation Day Week 2020, the minister said, “On the investments front, we have envisaged a spend of USD 60 billion in creating gas infrastructure till 2024, including for pipelines, LNG terminals and CGD (city gas distribution) networks.”
He further told, “We are ushering a gas-based economy by increasing the share of natural gas in India’s primary energy mix from 6.2 per cent to 15 per cent by year 2030.”
India’s first automated national-level gas trading platform was launched in June this year to promote and sustain an efficient and robust gas market and foster gas trading in the country.
Coverage of CGD projects are being expanded to 232 geographical areas spread over 400 districts, with potential to cover about 53 per cent of the country’s geography and 70 per cent of population, he added.
He also said, “We are adopting clean mobility solutions with greater use of LNG (liquefied natural gas) as a transportation fuel, including long haul trucking. We plan to have 1,000 LNG fuel stations across the country. Last month, foundation stone was laid for the nation’s first 50 LNG fuel stations.”
This year, India has achieved the milestone of completely filling all the strategic petroleum reserves with a total capacity of 5.33 MT (million tonnes) constructed at Visakhapatnam, Mangaluru and Padur.
“We have initiated the process of establishing another 6.5 MT commercial-cum-strategic petroleum storage facilities at two locations, Chandikol and Padur, under the public-private partnership model,” he added.
About the pandemic, he noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to inhibit conduct of normal activity.
He said, “We also have clear indications of improvements and a gradual increase in activity across all states and sectors of our economy. You are already reworking the traditional strategies, not just to mitigate the effects of the pandemic but to build back better.”
Pradhan added that there is a reflection of these efforts in how India’s energy sector has bounced back with remarkable resilience. “Our energy demand has almost recovered back to pre-COVID-19 levels, particularly for petroleum products. We are confident that this recovery path in energy demand growth in India will sustain in the coming months.”
Vedanta Group Chief Executive Officer Sunil Duggal said that during the session, “We contribute 15 per cent to domestic crude oil production which would be raised to 50 per cent by 2030… It can add Rs 1 lakh crore to the central government (revenue) kitty.”
He suggested that the industry should be given more freedom with additional reforms in the sector which would ultimately help realise the goal of USD 5-trillion economy and an Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) India.
Sumant Sinha, vice-president of Assocham and chairman & managing director of ReNew Power, stressed the need for more research and development in the energy sector to make economy more sustainable, and called for more investment in the area.