Big plans for Delhi as IGL budgets Rs1700cr spend

Vol 12, PW 23 (23 Apr 09) Midstream & Downstream

Indraprastha Gas wants to vastly expand its gas retail network, as Delhi begins the countdown to the Commonwealth Games in October 2010.

“IGL will spend Rs1700cr ($340m) to expand its network over the next three to five years,â€‌ managing director Rajesh Vedvyas tells PETROWATCH. “In the last ten years since 1999 we have spent only Rs840cr ($168m).

â€‌ Vedvyas said most of IGL’s energy would go towards expanding its existing network in Delhi and the suburbs of Noida and Greater Noida. Critical to this are plans to set up 50 new CNG stations.

Vedvyas added that land has already been acquired to build 18 new stations while land for the remaining 32 should be available by September this year. “Most of them will be â€کmother’ stations,â€‌ says Vedvyas.

Not in doubt is that Delhi needs more CNG stations. IGL reports 20% year-on-year growth in CNG sales and on April 17 recorded its highest ever volumes when pumps in Delhi, Noida and Greater Noida sold a combined 15.23 lakh-kg CNG.

“More and more private vehicles are converting to CNG,â€‌ says Vedvyas. “We have to keep pace with demand.

â€‌ Vedvyas adds he is determined to ensure consistent availability of CNG and end the common sight of long queues outside most CNG stations in Delhi. “Gas is delivered to these stations in cascades and this takes time,â€‌ he says.

“We are converting them into â€کonline’ stations so in future they will be supplied by pipeline.â€‌ Another IGL initiative is to request the Delhi Transport Corporation, which has around 20 dedicated CNG stations at bus depots, to allow refuelling of private vehicles at five or six of its stations.

Yet another initiative is to increase the compression capacity of each CNG station to 29 lakh-kg/day from 21 lakh-kg/day, something the company hopes to achieve by May. Over the next five years Vedvyas says IGL wants to increase the supply of piped gas to 500,000 homes from the 140,000 it currently supplies.