KOCHI: As the state maneuvers forward to accommodate e-vehicles and opt for friendlier fuels, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) with a fleet of 6,000 buses, has plans to launch Liquiefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered buses in Kochi with Petronet LNG Limited (PLL) underpinning the gap funding between a diesel and an LNG bus.
PLL, an energy industry company that has set up LNG terminals in Dahej, Gujarat and Kochi, has agreed to pledge Rs 1.5 lakh for each bus as gap funding for 100 buses. Such an initiative would be a double-fuelled leap as it promotes the use of environmental-friendly fuels and simultaneously save expenses as LNG is cheaper than diesel.
LNG-powered buses are also claimed to be lighter in comparison to buses powered by conventional fuel as it eliminates the need for many cylinders. However, as LNG engines are expensive, the KSRTC buses would have CNG engines albeit powered by LNG, said sources.
Following the success of the Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) buses that were rolled up out in March, the KSRTC had approached PLL for the acquisition of 100 CNG buses. However, PLL said that it would support LNG buses and not CNG buses.
The pilot run of the first LNG bus in India was launched in Thiruvananthapuram in 2016 by the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan in the presence of the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan. A joint effort of PLL, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd(IOCL) and Tata Motors Ltd, the resourceful project aimed to reduce carbon emissions and generate savings.