Country's biggest natural gas transporter GAIL India Ltd. has reconfigured the Rs. 12,000 crore Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline, which will connect Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political constituency Varanasi to the gas grid, to link the Dhamra terminal.
The over 2,500-kilometer line will be constructed in three phases and will also now connect Adani Group's Dhamra LNG import terminal in Odisha, GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi said recently.
This section will take natural gas to Varanasi for not just feeding local industries but also for retailing CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas for households.
GAIL already as a line up to Phulpur. It is raising capacity of this pipeline by laying a 672-km parallel line from Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh to Phulpur via Auriaya in Uttar Pradesh at the cost of Rs. 4,300 crore.
In the Phase-II, a 1200-km line would be laid from Dobhi to Bokaro/Ranchi in Jharkhand and Angul and Dharma in Odisha at the cost of Rs 5,565 crore, he said, adding that Phase-III will involve laying 583-km line to Haldia at the cost of Rs 3,425 crore.
"While we can confirm that Phase-1 will be completed by December 2018, Phase-II and III completion will depend on the fertiliser plants coming up in the region as well as the timing of the Dharma LNG terminal," he said.
The phase-1 project will supply gas to major industries such as the Barauni Refinery and the Barauni fertilizer plant, which is being revived, besides power and steel plants.
It will also help in setting up of City Gas Networks in major cities enroute.
Previously, Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline was to span over 2,050-km but the length has now been increased with addition of Dharma port connectivity.
GAIL originally proposed to lay the pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal nearly a decade back. But the project was put on the back burner due to non availability of gas and customers.
The project was revived after BJP government came to power in May 2014 and it was felt that Modi's constituency, Varanasi should be connected to the gas grid at the earliest.
Also, the pipeline was needed for revival the fertiliser units in Barauni in Bihar and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Tripathi said GAIL is also investing Rs 2,000 crore in replacing old pipelines in Cauvery and Krishna Godavari area of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as well as in Gujarat.
"We are laying 700-km of new pipeline to replaced 35-40 years old pipelines," he said.