Vadodara gears up for major CGD expansion

Vol 14, PW 13 (16 Dec 10) Midstream & Downstream

Vadodara in Gujarat is famous for sprawling parks full of banyan trees, exquisite palaces and well-maintained museums.

But it also boasts India’s oldest surviving city gas network, which will soon add yet another feather to its cap. PETROWATCH learns a joint venture between GAIL Gas and the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) will lay a 65-km steel pipeline ring around a large area of the central Gujarat city.

Work is expected to begin in early 2011. Steel pipes for the project with 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch diameters are already being delivered and stocked at GAIL’s Waghodia LPG plant, near Vadodara.

“From the ring pipeline,” says an industry source, “spur lines will carry gas to different areas of the city.” Vadodara already has a 500-km gas pipeline network that will be “hooked up to the new pipeline ring”, we learn.

Even more encouraging is that 6500 potential local customers have shown interest in securing pipeline connections from VMC. “We are busy processing these applications,” confirms VMC.

At present GAIL supplies 100,000 cm/d to VMC’s existing network from the HBJ and should begin supplying another 20,000 cm/d early next year. This gas already goes to about 71,500 households and 2500 businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

But by 2015, VMC estimates Vadodara gas demand could increase to 500,000 cm/d. To meet rising demand, it hopes to add another 330,000 ‘connections’ to its network over the next ten years.

GAIL Gas is also busy setting up two new CNG stations in Vadodara to add to the three it already has in the Nizampura, Dashrath and Race Course areas of the city that sell a combined 30,000-kg/day. Still outstanding however is authorisation of the GAIL and VMC joint venture from the gas regulator but this is unlikely to be a problem following a well-received presentation to the regulator on October 29.