Gas grid blueprint for east

New Delhi: The ambitious gas pipeline project for east India will stretch till Guwahati where it will hook up with another network envisaged for the north-eastern states.

In a move to increase the share of natural gas in the energy basket, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said GAIL India would extend the Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline project to Guwahati to connect with the north-east grid.

Speaking at a seminar organised by industry body Ficci, Pradhan said GAIL has "proposed to extend the Jagdishpur- Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline to Guwahati". GAIL is laying a pipeline network touching Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh, Haldia in Bengal, Dhamra in Odisha and Bokaro in Bihar by 2022 at a cost of Rs 12,940 crore.

The company has done a feasibility study for a spur line to Guwahati within the approved Rs 12,940-crore project cost.

GAIL has approached the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for permission to lay the spur line, which would connect the northeastern states to the national gas grid.

GAIL along with four other state-owned firms - Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Oil India , Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil - have decided to join hands to lay a gas grid connecting the seven northeastern states.

"There are gas reserves in Tripura, Manipur, Silchar and Arunachal Pradesh which so far have not been exploited as there is no pipeline to evacuate the gas and take it to users," the minister said.

The Northeastern Gas Grid is currently at a conception stage, and the five companies are in the process of forming a special purpose vehicle which will approach the PNGRB for permission to lay the pipeline.

City gas

The downstream oil regulator (PNGRB) will also begin the process to auction city gas distribution licenses for hundred cities this month, Pradhan said.

The regulator has already given gas distribution licences for about 80 cities.


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