Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Aug 17: The much anticipated Kochi-Konjirkod-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline will soon become a reality and in all probability Mangalore will be able to get LNG gas through this pipeline by March-April 2013, if everything goes as per GAIL plans. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) had received the authorization for laying the Kochi-Kanjirkkod-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2007 and only now the company has started the process of acquiring land for this purpose. The pipeline will cover some areas of Dakshina Kannada district also for which land acquisition process has just begun and GAIL has already begun its work of acquiring the land and laying the pipeline.
The 3,700 crore project involving 1,114km long pipeline from Aluva to Kanjikode, Kanjikode to Palakkad, Kanjikode to Mangalore and from Palakkad to Bangalore, is being implemented in two stages. The first phase of Kochi-Kanjirkod-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline which will transport Re-gasified Liqueified Nagural Gas from Kochi LNG terminal is expected to be completed by 2012 and the second phase will be completed by 2013.
Phase I will be completed within 24 months and Phase II is expected to be completed within 36 months. Phase I envisages a 96 km long pipeline from Kochi to Aluyva that includes spur and feeder lines. The design capacity of the pipeline is 16 MMSCMD including 4 MMSCMD as common carrier and pipeline design pressure is 92kg/cm2. The main pipeline will have feeder lines and the gas supply from these feeder lines is expected to benefit a sizeable number of industrial units and business establishments. The infrastructure will be connected to the new facility being set up by Petronet LNG Limited and from here the natural gas distribution network will begin.
Phase II involves 1018 km long pipeline from Aluva to Kanjikode from where it will be extended to Mangalore as well as Palakkad with feeder lines to Thrissur. The 1114 km long pipeline will pass through the three states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. In Mangalore the pipeline will cover at 13 villages to include areas of Thokur, Kenjaru, Malavuru, Adyapadi, Kandavaru, Adduru, Malluru, Meramajalu, Kairangala, Arkula, Balepuni, Pavoor, and Ammunje. According to reliable sources, officials of GAIL visited the Grama Panchayats of these villages to on initiate the process of acquiring land for the purpose. It is said that the onus of acquiring the land is given to KIDB.
The land acquisition for the purpose of passing the gas pipeline is completely different from the process of land acquisition to SEZ and other developmental projects. The land is acquired only for passing through the pipeline to a width of 20 meters and only 10 per cent of the land value is given as compensation for the land thus acquired for passing the gas pipeline with a width of 20 meters. The pipeline will be laid at a depth of 4 ½ to 5 feet and will be closed once the pipe is laid. Even if there is any delay in acquiring the land GAIL, which has been entrusted the responsibility of implementing this project will go ahead wherever the land is acquired rather than waiting for completing the process of acquiring land. The pipeline will then be linked to the Rs.4,543 crore 1,389 km long Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline.
According to reliable sources, the property owners whose land will be acquired for the gas pipeline will be given 28 days for hearing petitions or objects which they have to file in a quasi judicial authority. This will be followed by hearing of the petitions and if the petitioner is not satisfied with the compensation he/she can approach the district court or respective High Courts of the states. Acquiring the land for the project is the responsibility of the state and GAIL officials feel that there may not be many hassles in the implementation as the Right of Way (ROW) is acquired through PMP Act of 1962. According to this act Corporation/state acquires right of use of this land for laying pipeline, operating and maintaining the same by paying a specified compensation, and in this case it is 10 per cent of the land value.
It is expected that with the commissioning of the gas pipeline the entire belt is going to come up as an industrial corridor on the lines of now developing Mumbai-Delhi corridor which would facilitate superfast movement of goods. This gas pipeline would open up the vistas of distributing gas to households through pipeline.
The benefits will be
• Uninterrupted power supply to all industrial units and business establishments which would pave the way for the overall development of the area
• It would also provide quality but cheap power and gas.
• LPG trucks would disappear from the roads and transportation would become cheaper
• LNG is much safer than LPG
• Domestic gas will be supplied through pipeline under the city gas scheme in cities like Cochin,
Mangalore, Coimbotore in the near future. Over 200 cities in India are expected to be covered under the city gas scheme.
• LNG is environmental friendly and therefore would lead to green and clean city with almost 25% reduction in environment pollution
• Import of crude oil would come down by almost 10 per cent
A cylinder of gas which now costs Rs. 400/- will cost Rs. 250/- once the Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline is through. Similarly LNG in vehicles would also become cheap and instead of spending Rs. 70 per liter as is being done now the cost per liter would come down to about Rs. 25/-. According to a GAIL official “if a person is travelling about say 100 km every day would end up saving Rs. 500/- per day once the gas pipeline come through”. Of course cars which don’t have the gas facility will have to spend an initial investment of Rs. 35000 to install the conversion kit but still it is worth considering the long term benefits.
It is expected that once the major 5 gas pipelines undertaken by GAIL become operational the Liquid fuel would be replaced by almost 25% in the country. At present our 85 per cent of India’s crude oil comes from the gulf and the ratio would then alter to 75:25, thus saving precious foreign exchange reserves for the country.
GAIL, a “Navaratna” PSU has plans to have a sub area pipeline from Kochi to Kayamkulam to supply natural gas to Kayamkulam Thermal Power Corporation unit. GAIL has plans to complete the the Kochi-Mangalore pipeline within 18 months along with the commissioning of Kochi terminal of petronet Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (PLL) which is one among the world –class companies in the Indian energy sector. The Delhi-based PLL has its only one terminal located at Dahej in Gujarath. While the Gujarat terminal of PLL has a nominal capacity of 10 million metric tons per annuam (MMTPA) the Kochi terminal will have a capacity of 2.5 MMTPA.
K P Ramesh DGM of GAIL based in Cochin confirmed that the gas pipeline would become operational by April-May 2013. Talking to daijiworld.com he said “To those cities covered by the gas pipeline the benefits are mammoth ranging from availability of cheap power to drastic reduction in pollution. To the domestic sector gas through pipeline will be available at a cheaper rate. To the domestic transport and industrial sectors such as steel making, fertilizer production will be highly benefited as a result of cheap, uninterrupted power supply and low transport costs”. He also said that each km of pipeline would cost 3 to 4 crores taking the total cost of the project to an estimated Rs. 3500 to 3700 crores.
The centre has appointed GAIL to construct both the Koch-Mangalore-Bangalore and the Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline project. Today GAIL has a turnover of 25,000 crore having stake in the business of Natural Gas, LPG, Liquid Hydrocarbons and Petrochemicals. It has also diversified into Exploration & production and city gas distribution. During the next 11 year plan period GAIL has plans to build 5000 km of pipeline including large trunk pipelines wlong with smaller pipelines which would provide connectivity among trunk lines so that the company is able to have some sort of a grid to transport power from anywhere to anywhere.
One can expect the Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline to become operational soon to given an impetus to the developmental activities in the district.