Gas pipeline work at snail's pace in TN, Kerala

Gas pipeline work at snail's pace in TN, Kerala

KOCHI: With several issues plaguing the completion of natural gas pipelines in Tamil Nadu and

Kerela, such stalling might well mean that the two states miss the bus to a ‘gas-based economy’.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, however, have started making strides in developing and

expanding natural gas networks.

The latest such project has been taken up by H-Energy Private Limited, which has bagged rights to

lay a gas pipeline from Jaigarh in Maharashtra to Goa and Mangalore.

The 635-km pipeline will run from Jaigarh in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra to Panjim in Goa and

onwards to Karwar in Uttara Kannada district and Udupi in Karnataka before terminating at

Mangalore. The project is expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, the only pipeline which could connect both Tamil Nadu and Kerala to the national

natural gas grid is the Kochi-Koottanad- Bengaluru-Manglore pipeline project — one that is yet to be


“Nationally, demand for natural gas is increasing. New pipelines are being built across the country to

make use of gas, which is available as low as $4 per unit. But states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala find it

hard to complete such projects. If these issues continue, these states will be omitted when the

entire country enjoys benefits of gas,” said M P Sukumaran Nair, an energy expert and director,

Centre for Green Technology and Management.

The only Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in South India is at Puthuvype in Kerala. Petronet LNG,

which owns the terminal, is also skeptical about the new pipeline.

“The Kochi-Koottanad- Bengaluru-Manglore was originally proposed to provide gas to industries in

Mangalore. If this purpose is served by a new pipeline the former one will be irrelevant. Even though

the state of Kerala has assured full support for the completion of the project, the work has not been

started,” said a Petronet LNG official, on condition of anonymity.

When contacted, Tony Mathew, Chief Manager, GAIL (India) and co-coordinator of Kochi-Koottanad-

Banglore-Manglore pipeline project, told Express that the pipeline project will resume by August and

GAIL has set a target to finish the project by June 2018.

“The pipeline is not intended only for Mangalore as it will cater to the requirements of consumers

en-route,” he added. work-at- snails-pace- in-TN-


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