Adani plans to pipe gas to western Ahmedabad

Vol 15, PW 13 (12 Jan 12) Midstream & Downstream

Gujarat Gas managing director Shaleen Sharma heads India’s largest retail gas player yet even he doesn’t receive piped gas at his own home in the Bopal area of western Ahmedabad.

Luckily, Sharma might not have to wait much longer as rival Adani Gas is planning to finally connect the fast developing suburb, once a sleepy village, to its Ahmedabad city gas network by March 31, 2012. Also waiting for a piped gas connection from Adani is Nitin Shukla, managing director and CEO of Shell’s 3.67m t/y Hazira LNG terminal in Gujarat.

Like Sharma, Shukla too lives in Bopal and must rely on a 14.2-kg LPG cylinder in his kitchen even though he is responsible for supplying R-LNG throughout India. And every time Shukla’s LPG cylinder runs out, he is forced to make frantic calls to the state-owned oil marketing company designated as his LPG supplier.

An Adani source blames the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) disorganised approach to underground pipelines in the city. “We could have ‘charged’ Bopal with gas nearly six months ago,” he says.

“Pipeline laying work was almost completed.” But, he adds, AMC wrecked Adani’s plans when it decided to work on ‘drainage pipelines’ and decreed that nearly half of Adani’s Bopal gas grid needed to be dismantled and laid again from scratch.

“This was a big letdown,” we learn. Adani remains confident it can meet its target to provide fresh piped gas connections to 36,700 Ahmedabad households and businesses by end-March, many of which will be in Bopal.

Since early 2011, Adani teams have been going door to door to line up piped gas customers. “Many Ahmedabad professionals have made Bopal their home and the response is good,” we are told.

“But we don’t take any money from customers until we have laid pipelines and are certain about ‘connectivity’.”

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