The world’s largest gas carrier firm, MOL Group will invest for the construction as well as operation of dedicated LPG barges under the Modi government's 'Make-in-India' initiative.
For transportation of Liquified Natural Gas (LPG) through barges on National Waterways-1 and National Waterways-2, an MoU has been signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and MOL (Asia Oceania) Pte. Ltd. According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, IWAI will offer support for handling of LPG cargo on IWAI and multimodal terminals at Sahibganj, Haldia as well as Varanasi as per notified provisions and rates on MOL’s request, facilitating with adequate fairway, and providing information on Lease Available Depth (LAD) on monthly/fortnightly basis. The world’s largest gas carrier firm, MOL Group will invest for the construction as well as operation of dedicated LPG barges under the Modi government’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.
At present, 60 per cent of the LPG is transported to the various locations through road with a cost of Rs 5 to 6 per metric tonne per km, which the oil firms are interested in reducing. Sometimes, there are also issues of strikes by transporters, road blockages which lead to delay in transportation. Therefore, the firms’ main area of interest is to utilize waterways to have a cheaper alternative to the existing transportation mode, which is also a greener and cleaner mode. Also, some areas are difficult to approach through railways or roadways especially in the Northeast part of the country where the IWT sector may offer usable solutions, other than the parcel size as compared to road trucks which can carry LPG of 17 MT.
Besides, the salient feature of LPG over other items is that it is a clean cargo with zero leakages as well as spillage as the products are handled by pipelines in an entirely closed-loop with utmost safety precautions being regulated by PESO and PNGRB. As compared to any other bulk cargo, LPG cargo requires less berthing time. Also, there is no need of conveyors, etc., installed on jetties/berths. Transporting LPG through inland waterways will help minimize the carbon footprints, lowering the cost of overall logistics, which stands around 13 per cent to 14 per cent of GDP in India, compared to global average of 8 per cent and contributing to social schemes of the government like “UJJAWLA” for LPG supply.