11:16 am - Wednesday May 29, 2024

Mumbai-Goa route may soon see a hybrid cruise ship. Is Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways to thank for it?

701 Viewed Pallavi Kumar Comments Off on Mumbai-Goa route may soon see a hybrid cruise ship. Is Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways to thank for it?

A leading automobile manufacturer has joined hands with a cruise ship operator for converting a diesel-powered ship into a hybrid at the recommendation of Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways.

Speaking at a CII-organised gathering in Mumbai recently Gadkari said that the joint venture is in the final stages and it is aimed at making greater use of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) for use in powering ships.

“There is someone I know who bought a cruise ship and is now refurbishing it for commercial use on the Mumbai-Goa route. I asked them why they are not exploring the idea of converting it to LNG. So I asked an automobile manufacturer to do a joint venture with the company which is now in the final stages. It will be a dual engine which can run on LNG and diesel,” added Gadkari.

Vehicle makers have been selling dual engines in India running on petrol-CNG and diesel-electric but this will be the first time that an automobile manufacturer is involved with a cruise ship operator for altering its engines.

While Gadkari did not disclose the names of the companies involved, he, however, said that the government is making a major push for LNG availability at all major ports, aimed at reducing the cost of operation.

“So at every port we will make LNG available. A cruise ship coming to Mumbai from Goa on LNG there is a direct saving of 75 percent on fuel cost,” added Gadkari.

Gadkari also said that in order to reduce congestion on highways the government is developing transport through waterways. However, due to lack of development there is no international-style cruise terminal anywhere in India. So, for this purpose the government will soon float tenders for development of terminals.

Mumbai Port, for instance, which is one the oldest ports in the country, will see an investment of Rs 225 crore over two years for building a modern passenger terminal catering to cruise ships.

While LNG’s primary users in India have been big industries but of late even the automobile sector has warmed up to the idea of tapping into LNG as the fuel is considered better than CNG.

Last year Tata Motors showcased India’s first LNG-powered bus in Kerala after having unveiled a LNG-powered Prima truck at the Auto Expo. Oil companies are also working parallely to set up LNG-filling stations which need regulatory approvals.

The government has already announced that it is planning to use LNG, which is cheaper than diesel, as fuel for the Railways and long-haul transportation. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, which has a fleet of 6,000 buses, has already announced plans to use natural gas.

LNG is greener as well as more economical as compared to diesel. LNG is more suitable for heavy duty segment like trucks and buses.

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