Petronet LNG has decided to adopt a three-pronged strategy to expand its business in the country by setting up 1,350 liquefied natural gas (LNG) dispensing stations across major national highways. The decision comes as the government has allowed marketing and distribution of LNG by any entity. Petronet aims to provide sufficient LNG infrastructure on highways for heavy vehicles. In the first phase, it will put up 50 stations on five major highways, including Western Corridor and Southern Corridor, by the year 2021. In the second phase, it plans to set up around 300 LNG dispensing stations on all highways and in the final phase, it will set up remaining 1,000 stations.

According to Petronet, about 35,000 km of highways will be covered under its plan, considering that 25 per cent of the highways in India will be used by major, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, traffic from various ports, mines, petrochemical complexes, fast-moving consumer goods industries and logistics hubs.

Petronet has planned to tie up with city gas distribution companies, oil market companies and other players to achieve the goal of enhancing the usage of LNG in the automotive sector, especially in the long-haul trucks and interstate buses. In June 2020, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board had issued a notice stating that any eligible entity can set up an LNG station anywhere in the country. The notice aims to promote the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for heavy vehicles and reduce India’s dependence on the imported oil.