The Inland Waterways Authority of India and the MOL have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for the transportation of LPG through inland waterways.
As of now, 60% of the LPG is being transported to different locations at a cost of Rs. 5 to 6 per metric tonne per kilometre, which oil firms are interested in reducing.
There are also often issues of transportation strikes, road blockages that trigger transport delays. The key field of interest for businesses, therefore, is the use of rivers in order to provide a cheaper alternative to the current mode of transport, which is both safer and greener.
There are also some areas that are difficult to reach by rail/road, especially in the North-East region where the IWT sector can provide accessible solutions, apart from the size of the parcel compared to road trucks that can carry 17 MT of LPG in the case of barges, depending on the barge contributing to economies of scale, it will be larger.
In addition to the significant characteristics of LPG over other commodities, LPG is a clean cargo with zero leakage and spillage as the goods are treated in a completely closed-loop by pipelines with the utmost safety measures controlled by PNGRB and PESO.
The handling of LPG by inland waterways would help minimize carbon footprints, lower the overall cost of logistics, which is approximately 13 to 14% of GDP in India, compared to the global average of 8 percent, and contribute to the supply of LPG to the government social schemes such as UJJAWLA.