AG&P Pratham, the India arm of Singapore-based Atlantic Gulf & Pacific (AG&P) City Gas, is planning to invest over ₹9,000 crore in the city gas distribution business in the country, a senior official said.The investments would be towards expanding city gas distribution (CGD) infrastructure and setting up new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, among other areas.
“We would be investing in steel pipelines, in polyethylene pipelines, setting up of CNG stations, purchase of land parcels, among others. This is a very capital-intensive project,” said Chiradeep Datta, chief operating officer, AG&P Pratham.The company, which has been authorized in 12 geographical areas, and covers 34 districts of the country, has 140 CNG operational stations across the country and 50 stations pending approvals from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization. To service its geographical areas (GAS) or districts, the company has adopted a hub-and-spoke model. It is setting up mini-LNG facilities wherein the company brings LNG from the ports – Kochi, Dabhol or Dahej – and transports it into a cryogenic tanker to bring it into the GAs.
From the gas (hub), the LNG is transported through a network of polyethylene lines to various markets including the industrial and commercial and domestic customers. “As of now we have four L-CNG stations operational, and these areas and surrounding areas are receiving gas from the LNG terminals. By the end of this fiscal, we plan to have 17 of these facilities along with 850 kilometers of steel pipelines and 4,500 kilometres of polyethylene pipelines,” said Datta, adding that the company is also launching a number of AG&P Pratham branded outlets across the country.
As most of its GAs are located near coastal areas, another area the company is looking at is the running of fishing boats on LNG. These boats currently run on kerosene. Datta said his company is in talks with the state governments of Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat to adopt the idea of CNG-run boats.
The company is currently selling around 0.25 standard cubic metres per day and plans to cross 1 million metric standard cubic metres per day by the fiscal year end, said Datta.AG&P is one of the few international players in the CGD sector in India which is vastly expanding the city gas distribution network in its push to be a gas-based economy.
Another prominent global player in the CGD segment is Total Gas, which has a joint venture with Adani Gas NSE 2.21 %.Leading players in the segment include Mahanagar Gas NSE 1.76 %, Gujarat Gas NSE -2.10 % and Indraprastha Gas NSE -0.39 %. After the completion of 11th city gas distribution (CGD) round last November, 96% of India’s population and 86% of its geographic area would be covered under CGD network. Projected investments in the sector are around ₹1.2 lakh crore.