Gujarat State Petronet Ltd expects the commissioning of the Mehsana-Bhatinda gas pipeline by March, which will double the company's gas transmission capacity to 76 mscmd, to boost sales, company sources told Cogencis.
In the first year of operation from April, only about 10 mscmd of natural gas transmission is likely to be added, as the pipeline stabilizes and the company closes gas sourcing and supply contracts, the sources said. India imports 55% of its gas requirements as liquefied natural gas. The country's natural gas production fell 13.2% on year to 11.66 bln cu mtr in Apr-Aug.
The 1,385-km pipeline from Mehsana in Gujarat to Bhatinda in Punjab will supply gas to fertiliser companies, refineries and city gas distributors along the route, who have already signed up gas offtake pacts.
The 55-bln-rupee pipeline, delayed by about five years, is being laid by GSPL India Gasnet Ltd, a special purpose vehicle by Gujarat State Petronet along with Indian Oil Corp Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd.
Gujarat State Petronet Ltd has a 52% stake in GSPL India Gasnet, while Indian Oil Corp has 26%, and the rest is equally owned by BPCL and HPCL. The special purpose vehicle intends to lay a pipeline through Mehsana-Bhatinda-Jammu. Work on the Bhatinda-Jammu section of the pipeline will start after March, the sources said.
Currently, only 445 km of the pipeline is operational across two sections, between Palanpur-Barmer and Jalandhar-Amritsar. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board had approved the 1,385-km pipeline in 2011 and was slated to be commissioned in 2016.
The pipeline will connect operational liquefied natural gas terminals at Dahej, Hazira and Mundra and upcoming ones at Chhara and Jafrabad in Gujarat to Indian Oil Corp's 15-mln-tn Panipat refinery, HPCL-Mittal Energy's 11.3-mln-tn Bhatinda refinery and HPCL's under construction 9-mln-tn refinery at Barmer.
Currently, Indian Oil Corp's Panipat refinery gets gas from GAIL (India) but could use this pipeline for its capacity expansion, the sources said.
The pipeline will also connect with National Fertilizers Ltd's units at Panipat and Bhatinda, which currently source domestic gas and liquefied natural gas from GAIL (India). City gas distribution projects in Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab too will be connected to this network, the sources said.