Pradhan to GAIL: 'Speed up Orissa pipeline!'

Vol 20, PW 2 (06 Oct 16) Midstream & Downstream

It's well known that Dharmendra Pradhan wants to promote projects in his home state Orissa where his dreams of becoming chief minister are an open secret.

No surprise then to hear Pradhan challenging GAIL to prove its "project management skills" by fast-tracking a proposed 2539-km gas pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Dhamra in Orissa, passing through Haldia in West Bengal and Bokaro in Jharkhand. Pradhan wants the pipeline completed by 2019 instead of 2020 as scheduled.

"GAIL should live up to this challenge," he said at an event held on September 21 to mark the signing of a MoU between IndianOil, GAIL and Adani to set up the 5m t/y Dhamra LNG terminal. Sitting nearby, GAIL chairman BC Tripathi, nodded vigorously in agreement.

Just days earlier GAIL on September 17 released a tender to hire a project consultant for Phase-II and Phase-III of the pipeline. Tractebel Engineering, Worley Parsons, Engineers India, Mecon and JP Kenny are all expected to bid.

GAIL hired Mecon in June 2015 as consultant for the 270-km Phase-I stretch from Dobhi to Patna in Bihar. Why does GAIL want another consultant for Phase-II and III? It seems Tractebel complained in November 2015 about Mecon's appointment for Phase-I.

Tractebel was originally appointed consultant for the entire project in 2010 and was unhappy about its replacement by Mecon.

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