Companies line up Rs 8,000 cr. for gas networks
Bharat Gas Resources Limited (BGRL), Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) and Unison Enviro Private Limited (UEPL) have lined up investments of ₹8,000 crore in setting up city gas distribution (CGD) networks across the country as the government launches the 10th round of bids for CGD projects. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), parent of Bharat Gas Resources Limited (BGRL) alone has lined up investments of ₹4,000 crore to strengthen its presence in the sector. Rajendra P. Natekar, Executive Director (Gas), BPCL said, “This month, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) will launch the 10th CGD bidding round for 50 geographical areas (GAs) spread across 14 states. This would cover some areas in Maharashtra and a significant portion in the east. The areas will be plotted closer to the existing gas pipelines. This would increase coverage of city gas distribution to 70% of the country’s population and 53% of its area. BPCL will be investing around ₹4,000 crore and the trio, BPCL, MNGL and UEPL will be investing between ₹7,000 and ₹8,000 crore.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for CGD projects across 129 districts to boost availability of gas supply for half of the country’s population in 26 States and Union Territories on Thursday and launch the 10th CGD bidding round in 50 GAs spread over 124 districts in 14 States, said a government statement. MNGL is a joint venture between BPCL and Gail India, while UEPL is a subsidiary of Ashoka Buildcon. “Natural gas roughly covers 6.2% of the country’s energy basket, which is 24% globally. For States like Gujarat, about 25% of their energy exclusively comes from natural gas,” said Mr. Natekar. CGD authorisation has been given for 92 geographical areas covering 129 districts spread over 23 States and the Union Territories. The PNGRB had launched the 9th City Gas Distribution Bidding Round in April 2018 for 86 geographical areas, which include 174 districts, spread over 22 States and Union Territories. “With the completion of the 9th CGD Bidding Round, natural gas would be available in 178 GAs comprising 290 districts spread over 26 States and UTs covering more than 46% of India’s population and about 35% of its geographical area,” said the government statement.