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Posted at: Jun 20, 2019, 8:04 AM; last updated: Jun 20, 2019, 8:04 AM (IST)

Punjab’s industrial units embrace green fuel

Shifting focus from pet coke, furnace oil to LPG
Punjab’s industrial units embrace green fuel
Illustration: Sandeep Joshi

Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 19

To redress environmental woes and cut production cost, industry in Punjab is shifting to green fuel (LPG). Industries dealing in bicycle manufacturing, forging and heat treatment, bakery, steel rolling mills and textiles have started using LPG instead of pet coke and furnace oil as fuel. According to experts, the trend is catching up and likely to get boost if the government reduces GST on LPG, which is currently taxed at 18%.

Experts say the return on investment takes around 3-4 months depending upon the deployment of gas in the manufacturing process.

According to estimates, around 200 units in the states across different sectors have already diversified and shifted to greener fuels. Most of the heating applications in the industries can be done on LPG by putting suitable combustion equipment, modification in the furnace and by installing LPG provision of suitable size keeping in view the space and requirement of fuel on a daily basis with an assurance of LPG supply.

“We switched to LPG around six months ago and it is being deployed in our unit in manufacturing process instead of pet coke. The deployment of LPG is not only environment-friendly but also economical. On an average, we are saving Rs 1-1.5 lakh per month on account of fuel expenses,” said Ajit Lakra, managing director, Superfine Knitters Ltd. 

Also, compared to pet coke and furnace oil, LPG is greener fuel. On the other hand, pet coke has high sulphur levels — up to 7% when produced from high sulphur crudes and metals such as vanadium and chromium. Furnace oil also has high levels of sulphur — up to 4.5%. Burning these fuels releases oxides of sulphur and nitrogen which form particulate matter and result in serious environmental concerns. Although these fuels are cheaper as compared to LPG, but if one considers savings attached to LPG, then it is economical.

The clean fuel requires less space, reduces manpower for handling, cuts production cost and also has high efficiency. According to the data, Punjab has over 1.5 lakh working units, including micro, small and medium enterprises. However, considering the number of units in the states, the number of units coming forward for greener fuel is small. 

Arun Kumar, proprietor, Arun Gas Service, said there are a couple of reasons behind people not coming forward. “Firstly, it is the mindset which never wants to change as per the current scenario. Secondly, lack of players providing end-to-end solution to the industry is a stumbling block.”

Experts said once the piped gas reaches all industrial cities, more units will join the clean fuel bandwagon. 

Client base 

  • Number of units: 200 (approximately)
  • Industries: Bicycle, forging and heat treatment, bakeries, steel rolling mills, textiles


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