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Gas-tly Prices Beware: Government Pitches in to Keep LNG Affordable and Push for a Cleaner Fuel Future

At the recent India Energy Week 2024 in Goa, the spotlight was on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a key player in the country’s energy transition, with industry leaders calling for government action to make it more affordable. Akshay Kumar Singh, MD & CEO of Petronet LNG, pinpointed high pricing as the biggest hurdle in converting consumers to this cleaner fossil fuel. “If prices soar too high, consumers will simply switch to other fuels. It’s crucial to balance pricing to avoid quashing demand,” Singh remarked during a Leadership Panel on Developing LNG markets and infrastructure.

Singh emphasized the need for broader adoption of LNG to replace a significant portion of crude oil imports and potentially substitute 10-20% of diesel used in transport, boosting India’s clean energy quotient. Despite LNG’s benefits and its potential to be distributed across the country, Singh noted that achieving widespread use hinges on government support, especially in terms of concessional fuel taxation.

Echoing Singh’s sentiments, Sukhmal Jain, Director (Marketing) at BPCL, and Andrew Barry, Chairman of ExxonMobil LNG Market Development, highlighted the importance of cost, supply efficiency, and favorable taxation in promoting natural gas. They also pointed out the synergy between LNG and renewable energy sources, which are challenged by intermittency issues.

The discussions at India Energy Week, which ran from February 6 to 9, underscored the role of LNG in India’s aim to increase the natural gas share in its energy mix to 15% by 2030, up from the current 6%. The event, described as India’s largest energy exhibition and conference, attracted 17 energy ministers, over 35,000 attendees, and more than 900 exhibitors, emphasizing innovation and the integration of startups in the energy sector.

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