To promote use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a substitute of High Speed Diesel in traction to achieve unprecedented economies.Also to introduce LNG as a cheap and green substitute for conventional industrial fuels.
Natural Gas is fast becoming a fuel of choice by the industry due to its inherent characteristics of low emission, clean burning and increasingly easy transportability. For the same calorific value, NG emits less CO2, particulates and NOx. It is also economical compared to liquid fuels. LNG offers the benefits of high volumetric efficiencies in fuel storage and handling over CNG.
Government of India’s Policy
The government of India is promoting use of Natural Gas through incentives and liberal policies in import (OGL) and construction of pipelines. Oil PSUS have jointly created a company, Petronet India Ltd. to channelize imports, port handling, storage, regasification and distribution.
Indian Railways - Status
Indian Railways (IR) havesigned an MOU in the August 2011 with M/S Indian Oil Corporation to introduce LNG, both as industrial fuel and traction fuel.
The ultimate use of Natural Gas in engines is independent of the sourcing method, i.e. CNG or LNG. Energy density of LNG is better than that of CNG. It, however, requires an additional stage of regasification.
LNG offers several advantages over CNG, such as
(a)Storage is compact due to the liquid state of fuel. Volumetric requirement is one third of that of CNG. It still requires nearly 30% more volume than high speed diesel.
(b)Recent developments in cryogenics have enabled low cost storage and transportation systems. LNG is stored at atmospheric pressure, unlike CNG, which is stored at 200-250 bars. This makes LNG a much safer fuel.
(c)Consistency of purity is higher than that of CNG, due to the process of liquefaction.
Natural Gas is safer than liquid fuels like diesel and petrol due to its smaller range of inflammability. It is safer than LPG, as it is lighter than air, thus any leakage is quickly dispersed.
State of the Industry
Prototype locos with LNG have already been running in North America since 2012.
Oil PSUs are fully equipped to handle import, storage and distribution of LNG. Distribution requires special cryogenic lorries. However, LNG being a new fuel and consequently due to poor demand in the industry the growth of direct use of LNG is still slow. LNG can be carried to all geographical areas not connected with gas pipelines and also to small volume users.Roadmap
IROAF will be the central agency to introduce Liquefied Natural Gas as a substitute for industrial fuels in workshops and factories and for high speed diesel in traction. Emerging technologies in international railroads will be explored and implemented on Indian Railways. IROAF will also explore substitution of industrial fuels and gases in workshops and production units with LNG. Captive power generation with DG sets will also be converted to LNG.