CleanFUEL USA, a US-based provider of alternative fuel and refueling infrastructure and engine systems to fleet management programs, is investing US$5 million $5 million in India to set up 160 outlets in mainly Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab by 2008 to satisfy rising demand for autogas (liquefied petroleum gas—LPG) for automobiles.
In November 2005, CleanFUEL USA (CFUSA) announced the opening of its Indian operation, CleanFUEL India Autogas, PVT. Ltd. (CFIA) in New Delhi. CFUSA opened CleanFUEL India with assistance from the US DOE, USAID, USAEP, the Indian Autogas Coalition and IAC.
There was a clear need for a more direct presence of support in the Indian market. The autogas marketers are embracing the support, training and industry assistance CleanFUEL USA can provide based on our years of experience in other international markets.—Robin Parsons, CFUSA vice president of international operations
CleanFuel’s has been installing its equipment in a few Indian cities over the past three years. The company decided to scale up its Indian investments India because of the 300% growth in the use of auto LPG in 2005 over the previous year with a consumption of about 70,000 tonnes per annum.
For LPG supplies, CleanFUEL is working with Dutch company SHV Energy India, which has two import terminals at Visakhapatnam and Porbandar. It is also in talks with Indian Oil Corporation for supplies at Haldia.
LPG fuel costs more in India than compressed natural gas (CNG), as it is not subsidized. However, LPG is about 40% less expensive than gasoline, and the retrofit to LPG costs less than one-third that of the cost of the retrofit to CNG.
LPG is the generic name for mixtures of propane and butane gases. The chemical composition of LP Gas can vary. Autogas—automotive LPG—generally ranges from a 30% to 99% propane mix. According to Shell, for example, in the UK autogas is predominantly propane, but the rest of Europe more commonly uses a mixture of butane and propane.
LPG is derived from crude oil refining or from natural gas or oil production. Currently, more than 60% of global LP Gas supply comes from natural gas processing plants, but the share varies substantially among regions and countries. In the US, the figure is closer to 70%. With both processes, LP Gas must be separated out from the oil product or natural gas streams.
LPG emits similar CO2 to diesel and considerably less than gasoline. It is much cleaner than diesel in terms of NOx and PM emissions.