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GAIL to invest Rs 1 lakh cr for gas-based economy
GAIL India Ltd, the country’s largest gas utility, will invest Rs 1.05 trillion (Rs 1.05 lakh cr) over the next five years to expand pipelines, lay city gas distribution network and raise petrochemical production capacity, its new CMD Manoj Jain said on Monday.
Gas pipelines are planned to take the fuel to the east and northeast regions as well as to consumers in the south as part of the government push to raise the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.2 per cent, he said.
“We have planned a capex of Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 crore in laying pipelines, Rs 10,000 crore petrochemical capacity expansion and anotherRs 40,000 crore for city gas distribution (CGD) business,” he toldreporters here.
GAIL’s push for infrastructure creation is in line with the government’s vision of creating a gas-based economy that is less reliant on polluting fuels for meeting its energy needs.
India currently consumes some 160 million standard cubic meters of gas per day and the consumption has to rise to 600 mmscmd to reach 15 per cent share in the energy mix, and GAIL is laying the infrastructure to help achieve that.
At present, GAIL operates 12,160-km of pipeline network and markets two-thirds of all-natural gas sold in the country. It will add about 7,000 km of pipeline length in the next five years, Jain said.
The company is scaling up on liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity. Besides owning a part of Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest liquid gas importer, it also owns and operates a 5 million tonnes LNG import facility at Dabhol in Maharashtra.
“We have awarded the contract for construction of a breakwater at Dabhol to L&T and this should get completed in two-and-half-years. The completion will help operate the Dabhol terminal at its full capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum,” he said.
Currently, operations are restricted during monsoon months as high tide could damage ships carrying gas in its liquid form.
Also, the company has booked capacity at Adani Group’s upcoming terminal at Dhamra in Odisha, Jain noted.
Domestic gas production meets just half of the country’s demand and the rest has to be imported. Pipeline projects at hand include the ambitious Urja Ganga Project to take gas to Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand among others.