GAIL revives $4-bn plan to lay pipelines

GAIL revives $4-bn plan to lay pipelines

In line with the Modi government’s plan to build a national gas grid, state-run GAIL (India) has revived pipeline projects worth $4 billion. These projects had been put on the back burner in absence of  enough consumers.

“GAIL is implementing five natural gas pipelines. In addition, GAIL will be augmenting the capacities of two existing pipelines. The total length of the new pipelines will be around 5,000 km and the estimated investment on these would be $4 billion. When these pipelines are commissioned, the capacity is expected to increase from 206 mmscmd at present to around 300 mmscmd,” a senior company official told FE.

The pipelines, the source said, would cater to more industrial consumers, which would be feed liquified natural gas (LNG). Post the commissioning of these cross country lines, GAIL’s transmission capacity would increase by nearly 46% from 206 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) to 300 mmscmd.

The core competence of GAIL is gas transmission and it draws its strength from about 11,000 km of natural gas pipeline network and over 2,038 km of LPG pipeline transmission network.

The pipelines revived by GAIL include: Jagdishpur-Haldia (2,050 km), Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore (1,063 km), Ranchi-Talcher (520 km) and Surat-Paradip (2,112 km), among others.

The Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline, which was authorised 2007, is poised to attract several customers across fertilizer sector in states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Industry watchers are of the view that this pipeline would play a major role while promoting Modi’s strategy for industrialisation of Bihar, which is likely to go for polls later this year.


“The proposed pipeline will pass through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and cities of Phulpur, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna and Barauni shall be connected under phase-I. The pipeline is scheduled to be commissioned by 2018-19,” said petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

On July 31, Pradhan informed the Rajya Sabha that GAIL pipeline projects are running behind schedule because of legal disputes, non-availability of right of user (RoU), delay in getting statutory clearances such as forest clearance, wildlife sanctuary permission, contractual issues, complexity of terrain and non-availability of anchor load customers.

Meanwhile, the ministry has approved a pipeline section of Ranchi-Talcher-Paradip for implementation through private-public-partnership (PPP) mode as pilot project, where GAIL is the ‘sponsoring authority.’


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