GAIL sets new 15th June deadline for Dabhol pipeline

Vol 11, PW 2 (31 May 07) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL has set itself a fresh deadline to complete the Dahej to Uran and Dabhol to Panvel gas pipeline.

This new deadline of 15th June replaces the 22nd May deadline set by cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi, which passed by uneventfully. “There will be one or two days delay, here and there,â€‌ GAIL tells us.

“It is better to be a little late and be absolutely certain about the integrity of all the equipment. High pressure gas will be travelling through the line when it is charged.

â€‌ Despite its determination to meet the new deadline, the technical challenges involved in laying the pipeline through Maharashtra’s tough terrain makes it doubtful if the 15th June target can be met. GAIL has already lost one month due to obstruction by Gujarat authorities outside Surat over a dispute with Delhi.

GAIL’s internal deadline is 15th June but the oil ministry has directed it to commission the pipeline six days later, by 22nd June. Petronet-LNG has already been told that the pipeline will be ready on 21st June to carry R-LNG from Dahej to Dabhol.

A precise date is crucial for Petronet-LNG, as it has to make arrangements for the arrival of LNG cargoes contracted from RasGas for Dabhol. Another GAIL source tells this report that the pipeline has been completely laid along the 407-km section in Gujarat.

“Various stages of the commissioning process are now going on in Gujarat,â€‌ we hear. The first 100-km stretch from Dahej to Hazira in Gujarat was “chargedâ€‌ with gas on 8th May at a public function attended by oil minister Murli Deora.

“The gas is still contained within this 100-km length,â€‌ we are told. By 31st May or 2nd June GAIL hopes the gas will charge the rest of the 407-km length of the pipeline in Gujarat when all other pre-commissioning tests come to and end.