GAIL gears up for largest pipeline project ever

Vol 13, PW 12 (19 Nov 09) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL is set to launch its largest gas pipeline project ever, stretching from Haldia port in eastern West Bengal to Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Next week, GAIL will open bid documents in its Delhi office to select a Project Management Consultant for the planned pipeline (see route left). In the race are UK-based JP Kenny, Belgium-based Tractebel and state-owned Mecon.

PETROWATCH learns the new Haldia to Jagdishpur â€کtrunk’ pipeline will cover 800-km with a diameter of 36-inches. In addition there will be 1200-km of â€کspur’ lines with 24-inch, 18-inch or 12-inch diameter, connecting customers en route to Haldia.

Put together, the entire project is expected to cost Rs7000cr ($1.5bn). When laid this pipeline will serve as GAIL’s main east-to-west gas transmission pipeline and rival the Reliance pipeline that stretches from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh on the east coast to Gujarat on the west coast.

Significantly, the new pipeline will run on an â€کopen access’ model, allowing other companies to transport gas for a fee, in line with government policy. With this in mind, the Haldia to Jagdishpur pipeline will have 33% excess carrying capacity built into the project, designed mainly to transport Reliance gas bought by GAIL.

In turn, Reliance will lay a pipeline from the Kakinada D6 gas landfall, which will hook into the new GAIL pipeline at Haldia. Five dormant fertiliser factories in Sindri and Durgapur will benefit most from the new GAIL pipeline, which is expected to be ready by 2013.

With new supplies, the factories will reopen. GAIL also says the pipeline will jump-start city gas supply projects in Jamshedpur, Sindri and Ranchi in Jharkhand state, as well as at Sahasram and Gaya in Bihar, Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Durgapur in West Bengal.

Fertiliser factories in those cities will get priority accessing the pipeline. Jagdishpur, where this new pipeline will terminate, is also the end-point for the HBJ, India’s gas artery from Hazira, which passes through Bijaipur.