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Gail national grid in five years

New Delhi, Nov. 4: Gail (India) Ltd expects to complete its Rs 20,000-crore national gas grid project by 2008. The grid will comprise a nationwide pipeline network covering a length of 7,900 km.

Gail chairman-cum-managing director Proshanto Banerjee said here today that the acquisition of land for the pipeline network would be completed by mid-2004, while the detailed project report would be ready by the first quarter of 2004.

As part of this grid, Calcutta will be linked to Kakinada (AP) in the south through an 1,150 km gas pipeline and will also be connected to Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh through another 980 km pipeline. Gail expects to strike rich gas in the offshore A 1 block in Myanmar in which it holds a stake along with ONGC and Daewoo of South Korea.

Exploration drilling in the block will begin this month and if gas is struck in commercial quantities it will be brought to India through an onland pipeline via the north-eastern states and will eventually link up with the Calcutta-Jagdishpur pipeline. If Bangladesh agrees to export gas to India, it could also be supplied through this pipeline. The gas is used by power plants, fertiliser units as a transport fuel and also for domestic cooking.

Banerjee said the gas grid will be made up of 12 or 13 segments which will be taken up separately. Work on each segment will proceed so that it is synchronised with availability of gas in the region.

He said the regions in which gas was readily available would be taken up first. The network will comprise a “green quadrilateral” covering most of the country along with some spur lines.

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