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Hardeep Puri Inaugurates Second Floating CNG Station in Varanasi

In a landmark move towards a pollution-free Varanasi, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, inaugurated the city’s second floating Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Mobile Refueling Unit (MRU) station at Ravidas Ghat. Developed by GAIL (India) Limited, this initiative signifies a significant stride in adopting sustainable energy solutions.

Key Points:

1. GAIL’s Contribution:

  • Both the Namo Ghat and Ravidas Ghat floating CNG stations were developed by GAIL (India) Limited, a Maharatna PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • The total cost of developing these stations amounts to approximately Rs 17.5 crore.

2. Environmental Impact:

  • The inauguration marks a crucial step towards cleaner, more sustainable energy solutions amid global environmental challenges.
  • The decision to establish a floating CNG station underscores the commitment to the transformative power of clean energy.

3. Convenience for Boatmen:

  • The new CNG station at Ravidas Ghat is strategically located to provide great convenience to boatmen, eliminating the need to travel to NaMo Ghat for refueling.
  • Boatmen can potentially save over Rs. 36,000 per year by using CNG as fuel, leading to significant economic benefits.

4. CNG Boat Conversion Initiative:

  • Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, GAIL has collaborated with Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN) to convert boats to environmentally friendly CNG.
  • Out of 890 boats registered with VNN, 735 have been successfully converted to CNG at a cost of Rs 18 crore.

5. Technical Specifications:

  • The Namo Ghat floating CNG Mother station, operational since December 2021, has a compression capacity of around 15,000 kg/day, filling approximately 1,000 – 1,500 boats per day.
  • The new station at Ravidas Ghat is a CNG Mobile Refueling Unit (MRU) with a capacity of 4,000 kg/day, catering to 300 to 400 boats daily.

6. Economic and Environmental Benefits:

  • CNG is a more efficient and cost-effective fuel compared to diesel, providing boatmen with 35-40% more mileage.
  • The switch to CNG leads to savings for boatmen, reducing pollution in the Ganga and the atmosphere.

7. GAIL’s Varanasi CGD Project:

  • GAIL has invested over Rs 350 crore in creating City Gas Distribution (CGD) infrastructure in Varanasi.
  • The Varanasi CGD project is part of the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project, inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2018.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q: What is the significance of the inauguration of the second floating CNG station in Varanasi?

A: The inauguration of the second floating CNG station in Varanasi is a significant move towards a pollution-free environment. It emphasizes the transformative power of clean energy, providing economic benefits to boatmen and contributing to the reduction of pollution in the Ganges.

Q: How does the floating CNG station at Ravidas Ghat operate, and what is its capacity?

A: The station at Ravidas Ghat operates as a CNG Mobile Refueling Unit (MRU), filling CNG in cascades at Namo Ghat and transporting it by waterways to Ravidas Ghat. It has a capacity of 4,000 kg/day, catering to 300 to 400 boats daily.

Q: What are the economic benefits for boatmen with the introduction of CNG as a fuel?

A: Boatmen now have the convenience of refueling at Ravidas Ghat, saving time and money compared to traveling to NaMo Ghat. The transition to CNG engines leads to improved fuel efficiency, potentially saving each boatman over Rs. 36,000 per year.

Q: How has GAIL contributed to the conversion of boats to CNG under its CSR program? A: GAIL’s CSR program, in collaboration with Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN), has converted 735 out of 890 registered boats to CNG at a cost of Rs 18 crore. This initiative promotes environment-friendly fuel and supports the reduction of pollution in the Ganges.

Q: What recognition has the first floating CNG Mother station at Namo Ghat received?

A: The first floating CNG Mother station at Namo Ghat, operational since December 2021, received the prestigious ‘Midstream Project of the Year – India’ award at the Asian Oil and Gas Awards event.

Q: What are GAIL’s future plans for Varanasi’s CGD infrastructure?

A: GAIL plans to invest an additional Rs 100 crore in Varanasi’s CGD infrastructure by 2024, further supporting the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project.

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