Sales of CBM from Jharia to double by next year

Vol 15, PW 4 (25 Aug 11) Midstream & Downstream

Coal-rich Jharkhand is a challenging area in which to sell CBM but Calcutta Compressions & Liquefaction (CC&L) is confident it can secure enough customers to double sales from ONGC’s 85-sq km Jharia coalfield.

CC&L has a five-year agreement with ONGC to market CBM from Jharia and is currently selling up to 20,000 cm/d to local steel factories and ceramics manufacturers, through ‘cascades’ or cylinders mounted on trucks. But it expects this figure to increase to between 35,000 cm/d and 40,000 cm/d by the first quarter of 2012 and has ordered additional cascades and gas compressors in line with future plans.

“We expect to receive deliveries of compressors, cascades, ‘odorisers’ and other equipment around October or November,” says a company source. “We want to raise sales to 50,000 cm/d but to achieve that target we need to lay a gas pipeline to supply local customers.

” CC&L, he adds, sent an Expression of Interest (EoI) to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) about a year and a half ago, asking for permission to lay a 50-km gas pipeline running from the gas gathering station at Talgadia village to Bokaro town. But it hasn’t yet received permission for this proposed pipeline, despite a public hearing held this April at the PNGRB office in Delhi, attended by representatives from ONGC, Great Eastern Energy and Bharat Petroleum.

At the public hearing, ONGC expressed doubts about the viability of the pipeline, as it was unsure how much gas could be produced from Jharia. BPCL’s representatives sat mute throughout.

“Great Eastern diverted everyone's attention by discussing a small area near the border between Jharkhand and West Bengal where it hopes to produce CBM but which is completely unconnected to our pipeline route,” we hear. "Otherwise, nobody had any major objections.

But we have yet to receive Board permission.”