Adani battle with PNGRB moves to high court

Vol 20, PW 5 (17 Nov 16) People & Policy

Adani's chances of winning are slim.

But it is fighting hard to take back the right to set up a city gas network in Ahmedabad (rural) from BSE-listed Gujarat Gas. Next month (December) the Delhi High Court meets for the first hearing in Adani's landmark case challenging the PNGRB award to Gujarat Gas.

"The date is yet to be fixed," reports an Adani source. Since the award to Gujarat Gas, a giant question mark hangs over the future of a 35-km steel pipeline network through which Adani supplies gas to factories on the south-western periphery of Ahmedabad city such as Sanand, Bawla, Changodar and Dholka.

Without much thought for the consequences, Adani expanded into these areas assuming its existing authorisation for Ahmedabad city would suffice. But the PNGRB awarded Ahmedabad (rural) to Gujarat Gas on June 22, 2016.

Adani submitted a bank guarantee of Rs800cr ($118m) for the area under the sixth gas licensing round but was shocked when Gujarat Gas submitted a Rs1012cr ($149m) guarantee to win. "Adani should have protested when Ahmedabad (rural) was offered," says an analyst.

"But it didn't and then further spoilt its case by bidding." When contacted, an Adani source insists it protested when Ahmedabad (rural) was included. But he accepts the company should have abstained from bidding as a mark of protest.

"That would have made our case stronger," he says.