From conventional furnaces to CNG, switch ‘impossible’

Industrialists blame it on high price gap, investment worth crores

From conventional furnaces to CNG, switch ‘impossible’

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 15

The proposed switch over for 95 industrial units from pollution emitting conventional furnaces to Compressed natural gas (CNG) has failed to take place due to high price difference.

The Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has offered piped natural gas to the local industry at Rs41 per kg, which includes 3.3 per cent VAT which gives 8,350 calorific value (Kcal).

Krishan Kumar Kukku, who is holding a discussion with the company on behalf of the industry, said the transformation was impossible due to wide price gap. He said industries were getting pet coke, rice husk and other material for fuel between Rs14 and Rs16. All of these fuels give calorific value (Kcal) equivalent to a kilogram of CNG.

“It means that the fuel cost of industrial units will hike by 3.5 times. It is impossible as we are operating at a border city and depend on most of the raw material from outside, which hikes their input cost.” Simply put, an industry spending Rs69,000 on six tonnes of conventional energy daily will have to invest Rs2.41 lakh for the same quantity of CNG, he said.

Another impediment is that these industrial units would require to invest crores of rupees over their machineries to change them according to the new fuel.

Kamal Dalmia, an industrialist, said another company was supplying the CNG to the industries of Mandi Gobindgarh at about Rs24 per kg. He said the government must introduce one more company here to end the monopolistic market trend prevailing in the district.

Harpal Singh, Environmental Engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), said all these units utilising the conventional source of fuel have installed two stage alkali scrubbers for pet coke and air pollution control devices to curtail the emission of pollution. Officials of the PPCB routinely check these equipment besides keeping a track online. Even then, they were putting efforts to shift these industries to green energy with zero emission.

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