• Deadlock over GAIL’s Kochi-Bengaluru LNG pipeline project ends

    Ending the deadlock over Kochi-Bengaluru LNG pipeline project, the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) has awarded the work to lay 94-km pipeline along the Koottanadu-Walayar stretch to Corrtech International Private Ltd.

    The completion of the stretch is vital for Kerala as the state would get domestic LNG at half the existing price if it is connected to the national gas grid in Bengaluru.

    Though the Kochi-Koottanadu-Bengaluru-Mangaluru LNG pipeline project was started in January 2013, the GAIL had to terminate the contractors in November 2013 as they couldn’t make any progress in the laying of pipes. The main reason for the delay was the objection from landowners.

    The GAIL would be awarding the pipelaying work along 42-km in Bengaluru-Krishnagiri stretch in a week. “Laying of the 438-km pipeline from Kochi to Mangaluru will be over by November-December. We will be able to complete the laying of the main pipeline to Walayar and connection lines for piped natural gas (PNG) in Coimbatore by June next year. Then, 8 million cubic metre of LNG from the plant at Puthuvype, with a capacity to 16 million cubic meter, can be sold,” said Tony Mathew, general manager and officer-in-charge GAIL in the state.

    As of now, the average sales from Petronet LNG is around 2 million cubic metre and the tax earned by the state government is Rs 200 crore per annum.

    This will go up in the range of Rs 400 crore to Rs 450 crore when the pipeline up to Walayar is completed, sources with GAIL said. Revenue earned by International Container Trans-shipment Terminal at Vallarpadom will also go up.

    “Once connected to the domestic grid, Kerala will get its share and will be able to provide LNG to different factories at half the international rate and it will be a boost for industries in areas like Kanjikode,” Mathew said.

    Of the 438km Kochi-Mangaluru line, we have completed lowering and welding of pipes along 330km. “The pipe has to be laid along 71 waterbodies in Koottanadu-Mangaluru sector. The work up to Mangaluru can be completed by November-December,” Tony Mathew said. The pipeline up to Koottanad will be commissioned in June 2018, he said.

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