Indian Committee Approves Hythane® as a Blend of Natural Gas in vehicles
The Standing Committee on Emission Regulation, under the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, last week approved the addition of up to 20% hydrogen to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for use in motor vehicles. This opens the way for all the necessary approvals and licences for the use of Hythane® as a vehicle fuel to be issued, and for the licensing of Hythane® outlets to be approved. When this new regulation is gazetted, India will become the first country in the world to approve the use of Hythane®, as Natural Gas, thereby taking a major step forward in promoting the use of clean and renewable energy in automobiles.Eden Energy Ltd ("Eden") has been working with the Indian authorities for the past 15 months to achieve this approval and has been promoting the use of Hythane® in India for the past four years and has entered into a number of strategic agreements in relation to this project. These include:Manufacturing in India the HyRadix reformer to be used for on-site production of hydrogen which will then be blended to produce the Hythane®.An Agreement with Ashok Leyland, the leading Indian bus manufacturer, to develop Hythane® engines (the first of which has been developed).An agreement with Gujarat State Petroleum, a state-owned Natural Gas producer pipeline operator and retailer to establish the first Hythane® demonstration project in India involving initially two buses and then expanding to fifty buses. It is hoped that this project will have commenced operation before the end of 2008.Eden's subsidiary, Hythane Company, was selected by Indian Oil to build the first public hydrogen / Hythane® station in India, and this is scheduled to be erected in Delhi sometime during the second half of 2008. The equipment has been built and shipped to India for erection at an existing Natural Gas outlet in Delhi once the necessary approvals have been obtained.In addition to the work which Eden is undertaking, the Automotive Research Association of India, in conjunction with five leading engine manufacturers, is also working on developing a range of engines which will operate on Hythane®, thereby dramatically reducing the emissions of NOx (oxides of nitrogen) which produce photochemical smog and cause lung cancer and serious respiratory problems. The approval of Hythane® as a vehicle fuel is part of the Indian Hydrogen roadmap, and is an important step in the eventual roll out of hydrogen as a clean fuel. Natural Gas is anticipated to spread significantly as a motor vehicle fuel during the next few years as Natural Gas becomes far more widely available. There are several cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, where Natural Gas is already available as a vehicle fuel, and in the medium term it is planned significantly expand this to as many as 42 cities, and in the longer term to more than 260 cities as the availability of Natural Gas from both imported and domestic sources increases, and the pipeline network is extended across the country.