Uttam group of companies in association with Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) has launched Ashvath, an integrated CNG refueling unit to ease dispensing of CNG fuel. Ashvath is a first-of-its-kind Mobile Refuelling Unit (MRU) compact filling station mounted on a moving truck which can be parked in designated areas for CNG refuelling allowing CNG access to fleets virtually anywhere. The MRU unit was virtually unveiled by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Government of India.
The need for development of such a system has arisen because of Indian government’s thrust to increase the quantum of gaseous fuel in the Indian energy market from the current 6.5 to 15 per cent. The government has been asking the industry to develop systems which can create easy availability of CNG and allow for faster expansion of the CNG footprint with lowest capital expenditure, and Ashvath is an answer to that. The mobile refuelling units offer an efficient and cost?efficient way to mitigate the accessibility problem, by which vehicles would not need to always come to the station but the refuelling arrangement could be made available at their convenience. The Standard capacity of Ashvath MRU developed by the company is 8800 L WC storage cascade and the system is equipped with state-of-the-art safety devices including TPRD (Thermally activated pressure relief device) which allows the cylinder to vent the gas at a high discharge rate.
Speaking about the launch, Karan Bhatia, CEO, Uttam Group of Companies said, “This product will eliminate the challenges of infrastructure development in urban & rural India to provide fuel to the common man. This MRU will be a game changer for the energy industry. There are over 70 thousand petrol pumps in India out of which hardly 3000 pumps account for CNG stations, majority of which are in cities like Delhi & Mumbai. The government is mandated to scale this number to 20 times. With the launch of this product, we can consider to equip & convert at least 50 per cent standalone petrol pumps to all fuel stations without disturbing the infrastructure.”
“Economic viability is the key feature of the product, setting up a new fuel station has a lot of challenges, it requires close to INR 15 to 20 Cr of capital investment, then the availability of land at the right place is also a challenge but an MRU can mitigate all these factors at a fraction of the cost. A MRU unit with high CNG carrying capacity can fill up to 300 – 400 vehicles in one fill which definitely is revolutionary,” Bhatia added.
He further added “With the rolling out of 9th & 10th round of allocations of CGD GA’s, there is a huge geographical expansion of CNG taking place, with the CGD companies requiring setting up CNG dispensing arrangement within strict timelines. Setting up of permanent infrastructure at new locations, besides being capital intensive, requires considerable time for installation. Use of Ashvath refueller can allow CGD companies to operate at short notice with very low investment. We also have the vision to lead the global footprint of Uttam group and for that we are eying on US & European markets where we have recently invested in state of art composite cylinder manufacturing units in California.”
Speaking on the inauguration Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Government of India said, “It is a great pleasure to inaugurate the Mobile Refuelling Unit, as I see it a huge step towards India’s Natural Gas development with Innovative solutions. Our aim is to give easy accessibility and make it affordable to the consumers by providing services at various locations. These CNG units will also aim at creating a clean, green and efficient fuel demand further leading to digitization, setting up new career prospects and leading towards an ‘Atmanirbar Bharat’.
Speaking on the product’s compliance, Sandeep Bhasin, VP operations of Uttam Group said, “The MRU unit is completely designed & developed by our team of engineers in India keeping environmental concerns in mind. The heart of the MRU unit which is a gas storage cascade is ADR certified & comprises of metal lined composite cylinders which are lighter, stronger, safer & more durable, since there is no permeation. All the components of the MRU have been carefully chosen by us and are approved by Petroleum & Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) of India.”
The Ashvath mobile refueller, combines all the elements provided in the static CNG station, into a compact unit which can be mounted on a standard LCV, MCV or HCV vehicle depending on the dispensing requirement. As use of electricity is a major concern in handling combustible gases, team Ashvath have devised the use of pneumatic air or Nitrogen storage tanks which do not need any kind of electricity to function thus mitigating any health hazard.
Ashvath will be operational in Mumbai, in partnership with MGL and other CGD companies, and would then follow a phase wise expansion, across the country.
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