GAIL desperate for pipeline protection technology

Vol 18, PW 11 (29 Jan 15) Midstream & Downstream

Another fire at a GAIL pipeline has sent the company into panic mode and made it more determined than ever to urgently acquire effective leak detection technology.

On January 16, a fire broke out at a GAIL pipeline in Delhi after a private contractor working for the city’s public works department drilled a hole in it without permission. "We want to prevent such incidents," says a GAIL source.

"We put up warning signs near the pipeline and our workers patrol the areas. But still such incidents happen.

" Just a day before the fire, on January 15, GAIL coincidentally invited EoIs to source pipeline protection technology. "GAIL is operating a large network of pipelines across India with an approximate length of 11,000-km and a handling capacity of 210m cm/d of gas," reads the EoI notice.

"To safeguard the pipelines from third party damage and for reliable and timely detection of failure of any part of the pipeline, GAIL intends to implement a reliable proven ‘intrusion’ detection system as well as a leak detection system." GAIL says it received four or five EoIs by the January 21 deadline but hasn't opened them yet.

Expect another two weeks to pass for it to evaluate the EoIs before issuing a tender and simultaneously secure management approval for a pilot project to test the new detection technology.