GAIL set to expand petchem, green biz

GAIL set to expand petchem, green biz

Manoj Jain, chairman, GAIL India Ltd.2 min read . Updated: 05 Jul 2021, 05:23 AM ISTPTI

The nation’s largest gas marketer and shipper has adopted a revised future blueprint, called ‘Strategy 2030’ to define its journey through the next decade

State-owned GAIL India Ltd is eyeing expansion in petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and renewables as it pivots to expand the business beyond natural gas, its chairman Manoj Jain said.

The nation’s largest gas marketer and shipper has adopted a revised future blueprint, called ‘Strategy 2030’ to define its journey through the next decade. “This strategic plan will help us address our challenges in changing industry scenarios and provide new areas for growth with geographic expansion,” Jain said in an interview.

GAIL transports over 70% of all gas shipped in the country through its 13,340-km network of natural gas trunk pipelines.It sells 55% of all natural gas in the country and has petrochemical plants in Pata (Uttar Pradesh) and Lepatkata (Assam). The firm will convert an existing LPG plant at Usar in Maharashtra’s Raigad district into a 500,000-tonne-per-annum polypropylene complex at an estimated cost of ₹8,800 crore by 2023-24, said Jain.He added that GAIL will explore opportunities in the petrochemicals segment to meet high demand for polyethylene and polypropylene.

GAIL also has a small portfolio of 120 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar power generation capacity and plans to scale up capacity to 1 gigawatt (GW) at an investment of ₹4,000 crore in the next 3-4 years.

“While gas will remain our core segment, we will look for growth in other areas such as petrochemicals, speciality chemicals, renewables, water, etc. to reach new heights in the coming years,” he said.

With a strong business portfolio and improved organization structure, the firm hopes to respond to the fast-changing business scenario and unlock long-term growth opportunities. GAIL is investing ₹32,000 crore in laying important sections of the National Gas Grid, a pipeline network spread across an area of about 7,500 km, in the eastern part of the country.

Besides, it plans to set up ethanol units that can convert agriculture waste or sugarcane into less polluting fuel that can be doped in petrol, helping cut India’s import dependence.

While the renewable energy push would cost ₹4,000 crore, setting up at least two compressed biogas plants and an ethanol factory would entail an investment of about ₹800-1,000 crore, he said.

Jain said GAIL is setting up its first compressed biogas (CBG) plant in Ranchi at a cost of ₹200-300 crore. The facility will produce 5 tonnes of CBG per day and approximately 25 tonnes of bio-manure using municipal waste. “The gas produced will be fed into the city gas network supplying CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households. This will help reduce pollution,” he said.

GAIL has floated an expression of interest (EoI) seeking partners for setting up the CBG plants. The company also plans to set up an ethanol manufacturing unit, added Jain.

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