IWAI and Petronet LNG will work together to develop the operation of LNG bunker barges on India's Ganga waterway by the end of 2018.
India's Ministry of Shipping says the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Petronet LNG Ltd (Petronet LNG) will work together to develop the operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) barges on Ganga, National Waterway-1, by the end of 2018, local media reports.
As Ship & Bunker reported in December, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions without additional operating costs, India's government gave approval to a plan that will see vessels operating in the country's inland waterways switch from diesel to LNG bunkers.
"IWAI and Petronet LNG have been asked to plan and coordinate their work plans in a manner such that LNG barges could commence navigation on NW1 by December 2018," stated the ministry.
It is reported that, under the deal, Petronet LNG will be responsible for the construction and operation of LNG unloading, storage, bunkering, and reloading facilities on the country's National Waterways.
For their part, IWAI will support the switchover from diesel bunkers to LNG through the promotion of the benefits among barge owners and the operators, and will provide land where possible for LNG storage and jetties, it is reported.
Ministry of Shipping, India
Higher fuel efficiency and negligible pollution are major attendant benefits of the new fuel
"Higher fuel efficiency and negligible pollution are major attendant benefits of the new fuel. As per the present pricing, operating LNG barges will be much cheaper than diesel as fuel. LNG Barges would be a step towards achieving the commitments made by the country at COP 21," said the Ministry of Shipping.
India is said to be expecting that, at current prices, the switch to LNG bunkers will provide a return on investment within four to five years.
The government is also said to be investigating the viability of such an initiative for the National Waterways in Goa, which it notes offer significant opportunities for the increased transportation of iron ore, and are closer to LNG storage facilities.
In January, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPC) announced that it had signed an agreement with the Government Andhra Pradesh and Petrogas Pvt. Ltd. (Petrogas) to develop a floating LNG regasification and storage terminal at the eastern Indian port.