Maharashtra moves ahead with gas pipeline ambitions

Vol 9, PW 19 (12 Jan 06) Midstream & Downstream

Maharashtra is moving steadily ahead with its ambition to set up a network of gas pipelines similar to Gujarat.

First on the list is to set up its own gas pipeline and transmission company similar in scope to Gujarat State Petronet. PETROWATCH learns state-owned Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will call the new company Maharashtra Industrial Gas Transmission Company.

This name was approved by the Registrar of Companies a few days ago, says a source in Mumbai. It came as a New Year gift to us! State authorities have yet to decide on the equity structure, profile and other details of the new company.

All of this is being worked out by the industries ministry, we hear. Two areas will dominate the new companys remit: operation of gas transmission and distribution pipelines and petroleum product pipelines.

Its first priority will be to lay a 60-km gas transmission pipeline from Talasari to Tarapur. Talasari is on the border with Gujarat and Gujarat State Petronet plans to build a pipeline up to that point by July this year.

Maharashtra wants to begin work to extend this pipeline to Tarapur from the middle of this year. We will begin laying the pipeline from both ends and should finish the job in a month.

By 2020, the goal is to deliver gas to 33 districts in the state. MIDC owns several industrial estates in each district.

MIDC has 223 industrial estates in the state, says a source. It owns the land and already has the RoU for gas pipelines.

Maharashtra is clear that its proposed gas pipeline network will be on the open access carrier basis. We want to allow small and medium sized factories to contract gas supplies and carry them through this pipeline.

Tarapur has been chosen because of the huge unmet demand in the area.