GAIL Gas to invest Rs150cr in Taj Trapezium Zone

Vol 15, PW 10 (17 Nov 11) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL Gas plans to invest Rs 150cr ($29.8m) over the next three years to set up a retail gas network in the 10,000-sq km ‘Taj Trapezium Zone.

’ Named for its trapezoid shape, this low-pollution zone was demarcated by the government in 1996 to protect the Taj Mahal, a UN world heritage site in Agra. GAIL Gas took control of parent company GAIL’s 490-inch-km steel gas pipeline network in September, following confirmation of its authorisation by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board as retail gas supplier for the zone.

GAIL Gas will be responsible for operating the Firozabad city retail gas network, previously operated by GAIL. It must also set up city gas networks in the towns of Vrindavan, Hathras, Sadabad, Fatehpur Sikri, Kosi and Govardhan in Uttar Pradesh; and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

Under the terms of its authorisation, GAIL Gas must lay an additional 40-inch-km of steel pipeline by September 2012. It must then add another 310-inch-km of steel pipeline by September 2013 and another 160-inch-km by September 2014, taking the total length of the gas pipeline network to 1000-inch-km.

“The first year’s target looks low because it takes time for GAIL Gas to get permission, mobilise equipment and begin work on the ground,” explains an industry source. “These pipelines might have diameters ranging from six to eight to 12-inches but details haven’t been worked out.

” GAIL Gas must also connect 3000 households with piped gas supplies by September 2012, rising to 9000 households by September 2013 and 24,000 households by September 2014. Finally, GAIL Gas must install gas compression capacity to begin producing 18,000-kg/day of CNG by September 2012, rising to 55,000-kg/day by September 2013 and to 92,000-kg/day by September 2014.

GAIL Gas plans to set up its first CNG station somewhere in the Taj Trapezium within the next six months. “We have identified multiple locations, work will begin at whichever location permissions are received first,” says GAIL Gas.