Torrent to invest Rs 8,000 cr in CGD; Pradhan bats for home-delivery of CNG

Torrent Gas, the gas distribution arm of the Torrent Group, is planning to invest around Rs 8,000 crore in the city gas distribution (CGD) sector in the next five years, a company executive said on Tuesday. 

The company got 16 geographical areas (GAs), covering 32 districts with a population of over 90 million, in the ninth and 10th rounds of CGD bidding. 

“Our plan is to invest around Rs 8,000 crore in creating city gas infrastructure in the GAs allotted to us. Of this, Rs 150 crore has been invested,” said Jinal Mehta, director, Torrent Gas. The firm said it is in the process of entering the liquefied natural gas (LNG) retail business. 

The company, which runs 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, will now expand it to 200 stations by March 2021 and 500 stations by March 2023. 

Torrent’s GAs are spread across Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana. Dedicating 42 of Torrent’s CNG stations to the country, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked CGD players in India to come up with home-delivery of CNG.

“Public sector companies are already working on home-delivery of diesel. Similarly, petrol and CNG should also be delivered to homes. There should be digital booking and digital payments like we do for pizzas,” Pradhan said. 

Pradhan added that the entry of players like Adani and Torrent has created a competitive environment in the CGD segment. “The sector is going to see an investment of around $60 billion (around Rs 4 trillion) in creating infrastructure for CGD players in the next five to eight years,” the minister said. He also urged all CGD companies to consume compressed biogas as a step towards clean energy. 

With completion of the 10th bidding round, CGD will be available in 228 GAs, comprising 402 districts spread across 27 states and union territories. It will cover about 70 per cent of India’s population and 53 per cent of its geographical area. 

According to the commitment made by various entities in the 50 GAs approved in the 10th CGD bidding round, 20.29 million domestic PNG (piped natural gas) connections and 3,578 CNG stations would be installed for the transport sector.

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