Piped gas to fuel kitchens in 44 lakh Chennai homes soon
Chennaiites have something to look forward to in these days of high fuel prices. They will get more than 44 lakh piped natural gas connections and 333 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) pump stations over the next few years under the Centre’s city gas distribution (CGD) project. The Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board recently finalized the ninth round of bids under the project and Torrent Gas Private Limited and AG&P LNG Marketing Pvt Ltd will set up the facilities in Chennai, including the pipeline for uninterrupted supply of natural gas. Adani Gas Limited, Indian Oil Corporation and a few other private players have won the tender to set up similar pump stations and PNG connections in other parts of Tamil Nadu. These projects aim at making Indian cities greener by putting up a gas grid by 2020. Like in Delhi and Mumbai, people in Chennai would be able to use CNG, which costs ?40 a kg, instead of petrol and diesel to run their vehicles. The average mileage for Compressed Natural Gas is also high: around 20-25km per kg. Piped natural gas too works out cheaper than liquefied petroleum gas. “At present, users in Delhi pay ?5,000 as an one-time-installation fee and are charged on a monthly basis based on their consumption level or usage. Taps with meters will be fitted to the pipelines for supplying gas,” a senior PNGRB official told TOI. Another PNGRB official said that since it would take time for the entities to set up infrastructure, they can rent pipelines already laid by GAIL, the state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company, on an hourly basis. “As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, natural gas supply might be routed through GAIL pipelines, which run from Kochi through the western districts,” he added. Another possible route is Ennore-Tuticorin line. An LNG terminal is under construction at Ennore. Bids were floated in 86 geographical areas (GAs) including seven in Tamil Nadu and each area requires an investment of ?300-?500 crore over an eight-year period.