Gujarat blocks GAILآ’s Dahej-Vijaipur pipeline

Vol 6, PW 22 (15 Jan 03) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL HAS FINALLY managed to get a crucial 'No Objection Certificate' demanded by Gujarat authorities before it can construct a pipeline network to transport regassified LNG from Petronet LNG's 5m t/y Dahej terminal.

But this might not be enough to overcome the numerous obstacles Gujarat Petroleum is throwing up in its way. When the Gujarat energy and petrochemicals ministry issued GAIL the NOC in November, it did so with two conditions.

First, GAIL should comply with all "statutory provisions" as it implements the project. Fair enough, GAIL has no quarrel with that.

But the second condition hurts most. According to the note, "GAIL would utilise the services of Gujarat State Petronet for transmission of gas at mutually acceptable commercial terms." Put simply this means GAIL can forget any plans to lay its own pipeline network in Gujarat.

Hardly surprising. Gujarat Petronet is laying its own gas pipeline grid and has for long been insisting that GAIL stay away.

"We are already transporting 3m cm/d gas in Gujarat," reveals a source. "Our pipeline can move LNG from Dahej and Hazira.

It makes no sense for GAIL to duplicate our network. We are perfectly competent to transport LNG within Gujarat.

GAIL can take over from us at the border." GAIL feels it is the victim of Gujarat's ongoing war with Delhi over control of the state's gas sector and is planning to seek Shastri Bhawan's intervention.

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