A team of officials from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is set to visit Gujarat this month to review various issues regarding supply of natural gas at the ceramics hub of Morbi — the country’s biggest gas consuming centre at a single location. While the demand for gas has gone up almost three-fold in the last two months following the National Green Tribunal order regarding closure of coal-based gasifiers, companies like GAIL (India) and a few others have been looking to break into the biggest customer base of Gujarat Gas.
The meeting is crucial for Gujarat Gas as it sells nearly half of its total natural gas in Morbi. However the company’s exclusive marketing rights ended in September last year. The PNGRB team will visit the state on May 27 and hold a joint meeting with Gujarat Gas officials and members of Morbi Ceramics Association — the umbrella organization for all ceramics associations in Morbi, said an official of PNGRB.
The official said that though Gujarat Gas’ marketing exclusivity for Morbi has ended, the oil and gas regulator is yet to pass any order regarding this. A decision on this is also likely to be made during the visit, he added. The meeting will focus on problems like shortage in gas supply and complaints regarding gas pressure.
Large number of ceramic tile makers have switched over to gas following NGT’s order for closure of ceramic units running on coal-gasifiers. The move has created a spurt in the demand for natural gas. Gujarat Gas earlier supplied about 2.5 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd). However after the NGT order, the supply from the Gujarat government company has gone up to 4.5 mmscmd. Further demand of 2-2.5 mmscmd is expected in the near future, said an official of Morbi Ceramics Association.
“Gujarat Gas cannot afford to lose its dominance in Morbi. While it has network exclusivity for a period of 25 years, the company’s margins would be adversely affected if some other company gains foothold in Morbi,” said an industry expert privy to the development. He said that once PNGRB passes an order regarding Gujarat Gas’ marketing exclusivity, the Morbi network will be open to other companies after fixing network tariff.Share This