The provider of environmentally friendly mobility solutions GreenLine will expand its fleet by 1,500 trucks with liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the current financial year, which ends in March 2024.
The Essar Group company aims to decarbonize heavy haulage in India and is paving the way for the widespread adoption of LNG-powered freight haulage, which offers better mileage compared to diesel, thereby reducing operating costs.
“By March 2024, GreenLine will have 1,500 LNG-powered trucks in operation. There are around 100-110 vehicles on the ground. Also, there are about 66 CNG and LNG tankers there,” said Anand Mimani, CEO of GreenLine.
The company currently has a total of 160-170 vehicles in use. An LNG truck typically costs around ₹85 lakh overland with a trailer, including insurance, RTO, road tax, etc.
The idea behind Greenline is to decarbonize the entire logistics value chain, he explained, adding that the company initially started with CNG vehicles (Tata 151 and Eicher vehicles), with the maximum payload for CNG being up to 15 tons lie.
“LNG is a space that we wanted to understand. We aim to transport LNG as fuel and we are one of the largest virtual pipeline converters in India due to LNG. It was a good learning curve. We worked with Shell and learned a lot,” noted Mimani.
Regarding the financing of LNG-powered trucks, he said that the vehicles had previously been purchased using the company’s equity.
“We are in the process and discussing with banks and NBFCs interested in truck financing. We just got a small opening with one of the NBFCs (TVS Credit) who have agreed to fund these vehicles. We are in talks with other banks like HDFC, ICICI etc. Although LNG trucks are new on the market, they (bankers) have certain reservations but we are very confident that they will agree on the financing in the coming days her,” Mimani said.
On the business rationale, he said that a 55-ton LNG truck could be used in various industry segments, such as chemical, metal, FMCG, etc. It has a lifting capacity of 40 tons with a 46-foot container. LNG also offers 20 percent better mileage compared to diesel, resulting in better running costs.
These trucks also reduce CO2 emissions 2 emissions by 28 percent, resulting in a reduction of around 24 tons of CO 2 per truck and year. In addition, hazardous emissions such as sulfur oxides (SOx) are reduced by up to 100 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 59 percent and particulate matter (PM) by up to 91 percent.
GreenLine has already signed contracts with several cement companies such as Ultratech, JK Lakshmi, Dalmia, etc.
“We have signed a contract with Jindal Steel and Power. We will hopefully close the deal with Tata Steel. In the FMCG area, we have signed an agreement with Nestle and have also given presentations to other companies. We also do express freight trail runs for some companies. Express freight and containers are another sector for us besides chemicals,” added Mimani.