Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicates the Kochi - Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline to the nation today at 11 am via video conferencing. The pipeline is expected to bring a big boost to the gas economy providing cheaper and cleaner fuel to industrial and residential consumers.
Chief ministers and the Governors of Kerala and Karnataka and Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan attend the inaugural function virtually.
About the GAIL pipeline
The 450 km long pipeline, built by GAIL (India) Ltd, has the capacity to transport 12 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metres of natural gas per day from the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regasification Terminal at Kochi to Mangaluru.
The pipeline passes through Ernakulum, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts and ends at Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.
Built at a project cost of around ₹30 billion, the pipeline will bring an uninterrupted supply of environment-friendly Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to households, commercial units and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for the transportation sector across Kerala, said GAIL director M V Iyer.
The pipeline will offer clean industrial fuel and provide an opportunity for multiple gas-based industries to emerge, creating direct and indirect job opportunities. The pipeline project itself created over 1.2 million man-days of employment during the construction, he said.
Laying a cross-country Natural Gas pipeline in an urbanized and densely populated state like Kerala was an engineering challenge because it encountered tough terrains ranging from waterlogged plain lands, wetlands, rocky areas, hillocks and waterbodies. At some places, construction was carried out in very narrow stretch under the Right of Use (RoU) agreement.
The project was launched in 2009 at an estimated cost of ₹29.15 billion and was expected to be completed in 2014. However, resistance from the public raising safety concerns and high land price posed challenges.
The first phase of the project was commissioned in August 2013 in Kochi city and Indian Oil-Adani Gas Ltd started industrial and domestic supplies in 2016. The pipeline supplies 4 million cubic metres of natural gas per day to industrial and domestic consumers in Kochi.
With the commissioning of the pipeline, the demand for natural gas is expected to go up in the state. The LNG terminal at Kochi, which was established at an investment of ₹47 billion has a capacity of 5 million tonnes and the plant is expecting a 40% increase in demand with the opening of the Gail pipeline.