Some radical thinking from GAIL boss Tripathi

Vol 20, PW 12 (09 Mar 17) Midstream & Downstream

Gas and alcohol abuse might appear unrelated but GAIL chairman BC Tripathi says Indian policy makers must make gas "addictive" for it to succeed.

Delivering the inaugural address at a one-day gas conference at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Delhi on February 27, Tripathi said: "The question is how to create an addiction for gas. India needs a well-crafted, balanced, overarching, integrated energy policy for gas.

We have the infrastructure, we have the supplies. But there is no enabling policy to stimulate demand." Tripathi said the time had come for a radical change of mind-set, that big cities like Delhi and Mumbai should play the role of anchor customers, similar to New York in the US.

"For gas to succeed, we have to migrate from the idea that one company or customer is playing the role of anchor customer to a concept where cities play the role of anchor customers." Citing the US, Tripathi said factories, transport and households accounted for up to 65% of gas consumption. "If New York consumes 5m t/y of gas," said Tripathi.

"Delhi with its 1.5m t/y LNG consumption can very well become an anchor customer!" Tripathi also suggested taxing dirty fuels - liquid or coal - to finance the construction of a national gas grid designed to generate clean electricity. "Instead of only a 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) campaign," said Tripathi, "India needs a 'Swachh Bijli' (Clean Electricity) campaign."