Wed, 09 Mar 2005

India promotes CNG at technology expo

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With air pollution becoming a serious problem, especially in Jakarta and other big cities, Indonesia plans to adopt Indian compressed natural gas (CNG) technology.

Following an agreement to promote the use of CNG at a Joint Commission Meeting in New Delhi between the two countries' ministers last week, the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) is talking to Indonesian engineering companies to develop conversion kits that enable vehicles to use this fuel.

Indian companies developing CNG technology will join some 100 other engineering business establishments in such sectors as machinery, automobiles and metal casting at Wednesday's INDIATECH 2005 Expo at the Jakarta Convention Center.

"We are focusing the INDIATECH Expo on CNG technology that is in wide use in our country," EEPC chairman Rakesh Shah said on Tuesday.

India has succeeded in converting some 200,000 vehicles to use the cleaner fuel. The Indian government has also made it mandatory for public transportation vehicles in New Delhi to use CNG in a bid to reduce pollution and keep maintenance costs low.

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso seems to have been inspired by this success, and said last month that all public transportation vehicles operating in the city, including taxis and official government cars, should switch to CNG to help reduce the city's alarming levels of air pollution.

"With the technology being introduced through the exhibition, we hope Jakarta will soon share New Delhi's experience," said Shah.

Aside from introducing the environment-friendly technology, the expo also aimed to facilitate Indian small- and medium- enterprises to work together with similar business establishments in Indonesia, said Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Hemant Krishan Singh.

"We are acting as a facilitator for further growth in trade and cooperation between the two countries," he said.

Last year's two-way trade between India and Indonesia stood at US$3 billion, an increase on 2003's $2.4 billion. India's engineering sector exported some $172 million worth of goods to Indonesia, and this was projected to grow by 40 percent this year, Shah said. (003)