Green Car Congress (12 May 2005) Agra and Lucknow, India: GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd.) and IndianOil Corp are forming a joint venture to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles and piped natural gas (PNG) for homes and businesses in Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) and Lucknow.
The Indian government is encouraging the use of CNG and PNG to reduce pollution in the cities. The new joint venture company will begin supplying gas in the two cities by the end of December 2005.
The joint venture company will phase in seven CNG stations in Agra and two CNG stations in Lucknow. The company will initially supply natural gas to 16,600 automobile, 1,000 residential and 20 commercial consumers in Agra and to 1,950 automobile, 1,000 residential and 62 commercial consumers in Lucknow.
In April, CNG sales in India jumped 57% to 16,800 tonnes from the same month last year, government officials said. The use of CNG is likely to rise further as imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to increase and domestic gas output is likely to rise in the next few years.
GAIL said CNG and piped natural gas for households was being introduced in the satellite towns of Delhi and Bombay and other cities close to existing gas pipelines—primarily the Hazira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur (HBJ) pipeline.
HBJ is one of the primary pipelines in India, and would be, interestingly, the connection point for the proposed pipeline coming from Iran via Pakistan.
GAIL is also seeking a uniform natural gas tariff for fixing the transmission cost. With the projected increase in natural gas use across the country, issues of pricing and transmission costs have become more significant. The company currently charges, per the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, a distance-based tariff.