No GAIL pipe tender for Pradhan's pipeline

Vol 18, PW 20 (04 Jun 15) Midstream & Downstream

With much fanfare oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated a project office on May 25 at Patna in Bihar for GAIL’s infamous pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal.

But don’t expect tenders for pipe for Phase-I, say disappointed pipe manufacturers, who have been waiting years for this project. GAIL will instead use 900-km of unused pipe, bought for its aborted Kochi to Mangalore and Bangalore pipeline passing through Tamil Nadu which it was forced to abandon under orders from the Tamil Nadu state government in March 2013 because of protests by local farmers.

"Pipe bought by GAIL is wasting," we hear. "There’s nothing wrong in using up stock.

” In Part A of Phase-I, GAIL plans to lay only a 270-km stretch from Dhobi to Patna, both in Bihar. Part B of Phase-I is likely to be a 750-km stretch and in Phase-II GAIL is expected to lay spur lines running up to 1000-km.

“But last year GAIL changed the pipeline route,” says a source who worked on the project. He adds originally the pipeline was meant to be 2050-km but might now be even 1800-km or less.

In early May, GAIL and its consultant Mecon organised a pre-tender meeting attended by pipeline laying contractors Kalpataru, Essar Projects, Jai Hind Projects and Punj Lloyd. GAIL is planning another pre-bid meeting in mid-June.

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