Accident warning in rush to deliver piped gas

Vol 18, PW 19 (21 May 15) Midstream & Downstream

Don't force gas retailers to meet unrealistic household gas connection targets at the risk of fatal accidents, warns a source at Adani Gas.

“This is a labour intensive business,” he complains. “Having a big target looks nice but it can be dangerous.

Carelessness in laying a gas pipeline can result in accidents and casualties. Then who will be blamed? The government shouldn’t issue targets which are double what is possible.

” But the oil ministry isn't listening. On May 9, joint secretary gas pricing Ashutosh Jindal met 21 gas retailers and delivered a clear instruction: move out of your comfort zone and aim for harder ‘aspirational’ targets.

Acting on a directive from prime minister Narendra Modi, Jindal said he wants to raise the yearly target for gas retailers by 40% or from 944,600 to 1,392,914 households/year in cities with in-place gas networks. He also wants gas retailers to connect roughly 100,000 households a year across eight cities where licenses have just been awarded, among them Bangalore.

“Jindal was upset because CGD companies only connected 19,000 new homes in April 2015,” says another source. “Before that they were connecting on average 43,000 homes every month.

” Modi told an energy summit in March this year he wants to see 10m households in the country receiving piped gas by 2019, which translates to 7m households over the next four years or at least 1.5m/year.