Ankleshwar suffers as Gujarat Gas cuts supplies

Vol 12, PW 8 (04 Sep 08) Midstream & Downstream
     

Gujarat Gas is under fire for slashing gas supplies to a group of chemical factories in the Ankleshwar industrial zone of south Gujarat.

PETROWATCH learns the situation has become so serious a delegation of the Ankleshwar Industries Association (AIA) called for an urgent meeting with state energy minister Saurabh Patel on August 12. But when they met Patel, they were in for a rude snub.

“I can’t procure gas for my own GSPC!â€‌ he reportedly exclaimed. “How do you expect me to procure gas from Gujarat Gas Don’t come to me.

Go to GAIL and complain.â€‌ Taking him at his word, Ankleshwar Industries president Atul Buch is urgently seeking a meeting with GAIL chairman UD Choubey, likely sometime this month (September).

Buch tells this report BG-owned Gujarat Gas has cut supplies from 2.13m cm/d to 1.81m cm/d to around 400 of the 1100 factories located in the Ankleshwar GIDC industrial zone, one of the largest in the country, forcing factories to scale back production by 35% or more. Buch says Gujarat Gas is now offering companies in the Ankleshwar industrial zone expensive R-LNG contracts, whose only attraction is that they would ensure uninterrupted supply.

Ankleshwar factories currently pay around Rs13-Rs15 per cubic metre of gas from Gujarat Gas but switching to R-LNG would mean a three-fold hike to between Rs35 and Rs40. “This would break our backs,â€‌ adds Buch.

Contacted by this report, Gujarat Gas admits difficulties in maintaining supplies but puts the blame squarely on a government decision to divert supplies of gas from the Panna, Mukta and Tapti fields from Gujarat to northern India from April 1 this year. “We are not getting enough gas ourselves,â€‌ admits Gujarat Gas.

“No one wants to lose customers. But the drop in gas supplies is hitting everyone.

I feel sorry for my customers but I don’t produce gas. I can only complain to the upstream players from where I source my gas.

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