GSPC Gas expands presence to north Gujarat

Vol 15, PW 14 (26 Jan 12) Midstream & Downstream

GSPC Gas is ready to push into the arid north Gujarat districts of Patan and Banaskantha, which border the desert district of Kutch.

GSPC Gas has traditionally held sway over south, central, eastern and western Gujarat. But it is being enticed north by internal estimates which put the combined gas demand in Patan and Banaskantha at approximately 1.45m cm/d.

GSPC Gas believes demand could rise further in these underdeveloped districts, where farming is the main profession, but where many local factories are hungry for gas. Patan district’s administrative seat Patan town was once Gujarat’s capital city back in the medieval ages but is now better known as a major medical centre and a market for local farmers.

Patan district, which was only carved out by the government in 2000, has nearly 220,000 households with a population of around 1.18m people. It has a large number of food processing factories and is also home to cloth mills, plastic pipe manufacturers and agricultural equipment producers, spread across the industrial clusters of Balisana, Lanva, Sidhpur and Chanasma.

Neighbouring Banaskantha district is much larger and unsurprisingly has nearly double the total number of households at 430,000. Spread across 10,751-sq km, Banaskantha has a population of 2.5m people and its major industrial clusters lie in Ambaji, Palanpur, Chandisar, Deesa, Deodar and Sihori towns.

“But most of the factories here are for the agriculture or food-processing sectors,” says GSPC Gas. Banaskantha’s main attraction is its potato processing industry, which supplies 3 billion pounds (over 1 billion kg) of potatoes every year to US fast food giant McDonalds.

“Piped gas supplies would boost this development,” we hear. GSPC Gas also expects rapid industrial development, as it lies within the boundary of the 1453-km Delhi to Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a Japanese government $90bn infrastructure project.