New Delhi : India plans to more than double its annual LNG import capacity to 50 million tonnes in the next few years, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday.

Also, as part of strategy to move towards a gas-based economy, the first LNG-driven bus is likely to start plying in Kerala early next month, he said.

 The nation currently has capacity to import 21 million tonnes per annum of super-cooled gas (liquefied natural gas or LNG) in ships. This liquid gas is turned back into gaseous state, called regassification, before being supplied to customers like power plants. “We currently have LNG import and regassification capacity of 21 million tonnes. This we plan to raise to 50 million tonnes in the next few years,” he said here.  While globally natural gas makes up for 24 per cent of the energy basket, it is just 6.5-7% in India. “We would like to raise the share of natural gas in the energy basket to 15% in the next 3-5 years,” he said.

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