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India to end federal control of gas prices, lift LNG transport use

India will gradually end federal controls on gas pricing as it seeks to attract foreign investment and technology to lift local output, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

India, which is a large emitter of greenhouse gases and has multiple gas pricing regimes, aims to raise the share of gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030, from 6.2%.

“This is an incentive we are giving to investors to come to India and take advantage of pricing and marketing freedom and produce more and invest more,” Pradhan said at the BNEF summit.

To boost gas usage, India is expanding infrastructure including building new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import plants and connecting households with an expanding gas pipe network.

New Delhi said recently that no authorisation was needed to set up LNG dispensing facilities for vehicles.

India’s top gas importer Petronet LNG said on Friday it wants to partner with fuel and gas retailers on LNG stations along highways for long-haul trucks and buses.

Petronet wants to set up 5 LNG stations in the fiscal year ending March 2021, and 300 by 2023. It eventually aims to have 1,000 LNG stations across India, it said on its website.

Meanwhile, Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner and fuel retailer, said this week it wants to start LNG retailing through its fuel pumps.

GAIL (India) Ltd’s executive director Rajeev Mathur said his firm is looking for partners to set up LNG dispensing facilities.

Mathur said India’s gas demand is expected to rise by 3%-4% between October 2020 and March 2021, after witnessing a huge fall in April-May due to a coronavirus lockdown.

Imported LNG accounted for about half of India’s 60.8 billion cubic meters of gas consumption in the fiscal year to March 2019. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Alexander Smith)


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