Salvation awaits Dabhol to Bangalore pipeline

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

GAIL is expecting good news next month (June) from two anchor customers who could dramatically change the fortunes of its Dabhol LNG terminal.

GAIL’s 1389-km Dabhol to Bangalore gas pipeline - commissioned in February 2013 for nearly $1bn - is meant to transmit 16m cm/d, but today transmits less than 10% or 1.3m cm/d. GAIL tells us the situation could hugely improve in the next three years once Karnataka Power Corporation (KPCL) sets up two power stations at Yelahanka and Bidadi.

“Environmental clearance is expected this month (May) for the (350-MW) Yelahanka power station,” reports a GAIL official. KPCL awarded state-owned BHEL the EPC contract three months ago.

When commissioned, Yelahanka will need around 1.5m cm/d of R-LNG from 2018. For the much-delayed 700-MW Bidadi project which needs 3m cm/d, the courts are expected to rule in June on a legal challenge by Tata Projects against a decision to award the EPC contract to Siemens in late 2013.

“The court hearings are over,” adds GAIL. “The verdict is awaited.

” All Bidadi clearances are in place and construction should take 28 months. Another ray of hope is the GAIL Gas license for Bangalore, awarded in February.

GAIL hopes to lay an 8-inch diameter spur line from Bangalore to the Hosur industrial hub 30-km away to supply 500,000 cm/d to customers like watchmaker Titan and car companies TVS and Ashok Leyland.