'Natural gas consumption to rise 3-folds in 10 years'
New Delhi: India's natural gas consumption will have to rise more than three-folds in next 10 years for the environment friendly fuel's share to increase to 15 per cent in the country's energy basket, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday adding that a massive $60 billion is being spent to expand gas infrastructure to meet such a demand.
Natural gas currently makes up for 6.2 per cent of all energy consumed in the country. To cut dependence on polluting coal and liquid fuels, the government is targeting its share to rise to 15 per cent by 2020-30.
"Gas consumption has to rise to 600 million standard cubic metres per day for achieving 15 per cent share in energy basket" from current levels of 166 mmscmd, he said at a FICCI conference on gas infrastructure.
The current consumption comprises 80-90 mmscmd of domestic output and the remaining coming by way of imports, he said.
"A massive $60 billion is being spent on building gas infrastructure to meet the demand," he said.
The investment is being done in building LNG import terminals, laying pipelines and expanding city gas distribution network so that the usage of non-polluting fuel in the country rises. Pradhan said natural gas, having dual advantages of being cleaner as well as a cheaper fuel (when compared with liquid fuels like diesel and furnace oil), could help steer India as a transition/ bridging fuel towards a 'low carbon future'.
India presently has 38.8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal capacity. This is being expanded to 52.5 million tonnes in next 3-4 years, he said.
Also, an additional 14,700 km of gas pipeline is being laid to expand the existing network of 16,800 km. City gas distribution networks for sale of CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households is being expanded to 70 per cent of the country at an investment of Rs 1.2 lakh crore, he said.
Besides, plans are afoot to set up 5,000 compressed bio gas plants that will convert agri and municipal wastes into gas. These will have a capacity of 15 million tonnes by 2023, he said adding a letter of intents for nearly 500 CBG plants have already been issued.
India is the world's third-largest energy consumer after the USA and China. According to BP Energy Outlook 2019, India's energy consumption will jump from the current 6 per cent to 11 per cent in 2040.
It is expected to cross China as the largest energy growth market by 2020.