GSPC Gas told to build more CNG stations

Vol 13, PW 19 (11 Mar 10) Midstream & Downstream

Gujarat could see up to 139 new CNG stations operated by GSPC Gas by the year-end.

In his February 26 state budget Gujarat finance minister Vaju Vala directed GSPC Gas to set up between six and seven CNG stations every month after April. This target sounds ambitious, but PETROWATCH learns the state government-owned gas retailer began preparing even before Vala announced a Rs1735cr ($381m) investment in Gujarat’s energy sector for this fiscal beginning April 1.

“We were prepared because we knew it was coming,â€‌ GSPC Gas sources tell us. “We’re not waiting for April but have already started work to add at least six to seven new CNG stations this month (March).

â€‌ Vala’s budget represents an 87% increase in energy sector investment over the last financial year, some of which will go towards setting up CNG stations, adding 200,000 households to the gas network and further increasing the reach of the 2200-km state-wide gas grid. “Gujarat’s energy sector continues to be the focus of Vala’s budget,â€‌ industry sources explain, “because Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel doubles as his deputy!â€‌ In his budget Vala said he wanted to see clean CNG fuel made available across Gujarat.

GSPC Gas claims it can achieve Vala’s goals, reminding us the company’s 64th CNG station was inaugurated at Wadhwan in Surendranagar on January 21. “We have always worked fast,â€‌ asserts GSPC Gas.

In 2006, GSPC Gas started with just two CNG stations, increasing them to 17 in 2007-08 and to 24 in 2008-2009, before hitting 64 this year. Separately, we learn GSPC Gas plans to increase piped gas sales by gaining a foothold in five new cities this year: Jamnagar and Bhavnagar in the Saurashtra region; Gandhidham in Kutch; and Dahej and Umbergaon in south Gujarat.

Its Dahej pipeline network is ready, while work at the other cities is planned in phases.