India’s natural gas – LPG, CNG – consumption to treble by 2030: GAIL

India’s natural gas consumption is projected to rise to as much as 550 million standard cubic meters per day by the end of the decade from about 174 mmscmd now as the user base expands with the inclusion of newer industries such as steel, GAIL (India) marketing director E S Ranganathan said.

Speaking at the ETEnergyworld Gas Conclave virtual event, he said the revolutionary move to commit to a net-zero carbon emission by 2070 has strongly showcased the Indian economy’s reorientation towards a cleaner and lower emission economy.

“We now have a definitive policy direction towards phasing down of coal from primary energy mix with our targets carefully calibrated to account for India’s energy needs. Against this background, gas along with derived products such as blue hydrogen and ammonia will have a greater role to play in starting down the slope from peak emissions to net-zero emission,” he said.

While the government is targeting to increase the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.2 per cent, the share of the environment-friendly fuel in the total energy demand is only 2 per cent.

“So the sector will undoubtedly see a strong demand,” he said adding the city gas networks that retail CNG to automobiles and piped gas to the household kitchen, have seen consumption exceed pre-Covid levels and will see aggressive growth going forward.

Currently gas consumption is around 174 mmscmd, largely by fertilizer plants, city gas networks and power units. Of this, 49 per cent is met by domestic production and the rest through imports in form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). “On the supply side, we estimate that the country will reach around 380 mmscmd by 2029-30 with the indigenous production and import of LNG plus biogas also contributing significantly,” he said.

LNG, he said, will continue to play a leading role in meeting India’s gas requirements in spite of a strong and welcome upswing in domestic production. LNG as a transport fuel in India is predicted to touch 14 million tonnes by 2035, he said adding LNG use in trucks can displace diesel consumption and reduce the country’s oil import dependence.

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