Coal India begins to replace diesel with LNG in dumpers
State-owned coal producer Coal India has started the process of retrofitting LNG kits in its dumpers, Press Trust of India reported on September 1 citing a company statement. Coal India in July had announced its plan to replace diesel with LNG as the fuel for its heavy earth moving machines.
The company has initiated the pilot projects in association with Gail, India’s biggest gas marketer, and Indian state-run heavy equipment makers Bharat Earth Movers (BEML). Initially, two 100 metric ton dumpers working at Coal India subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields will be retrofitted with LNG kits. Coal India signed an agreement with Gail and BEML on August 31.
Once the LNG kit is successfully retrofitted and tested, these dumpers will be able to run on dual fuel systems, that is both on LNG and Diesel, and their operations will be significantly cheaper and cleaner with the use of LNG, the company said. LNG will replace the use of diesel by about 30-40% and reduce the fuel cost by about 15%.
The company has also planned to buy heavy earth moving machines with only LNG engines if this ongoing pilot project is successful.
In order to reduce air pollution, the Indian government is promoting the use of cleaner fossil fuels like natural gas. It aims to raise the share of gas in the Indian energy mix to 15% by 2030 from about 6% now.