KSRTC to roll out buses operating on natural gas


B Ajith Raj

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will soon roll out buses operating on natural gas. 60 percent of the existing buses will be installed with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) kits.

In the first phase of shift to eco-friendly buses, 5 buses will be fitted with CNG kits and 400 buses with LNG kits. Tender has been called for this.

To change the existing diesel buses to natural gases, major repair works need to be carried out. Fuel injectors, engine pistons and cooling systems need to be changed. An expense of Rs 5 lakh per bus is estimated. The kits installed should be approved by central agencies and the company awarded with the contract would be responsible for maintenance works.

KSRTC owns a factory-made CNG bus. As buying new buses would cost a fortune, it is decided to change the diesel buses to natural gas.

It is also decided to open a CNG wholesale centre at Anayara.

Advantages of natural gas vehicles

  • Pollution-free. While the Bharat Stage III and IV buses change to natural gases, the pollution can be reduced as new vehicles of BS VI
  • Less expense. Natural gases are Rs 28 lower than diesel
Limitations of natural gas

  • In the first CNG buses, additional tanks are installed for long distance services. In place of diesel tank, up to 6 CNG tanks need to be installed
  • While, diesel tanks have a life of 12 lakh kilometre, CNG tanks have life less than 4 lakh km
  • CNG buses are not suitable for hilly regions. But this can be overcome with LNG buses which also have higher fuel tank efficiency

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