Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), vested with the power of inviting tenders for laying gas pipelines in the country, is expected to invite bids soon for the pipeline supplying natural gas to domestic consumers under the City Gas Distribution project.
The process was likely to be initiated next month, a senior official of the New Delhi-based Board told The Hindu over phone.
PNGRB had invited bids for CGD network for eight cities including Kochi in October 2010 in the fourth round of bidding for gas pipelines, but they were cancelled later on official grounds. Stakeholders were understood to have insisted on revision of guidelines for bidding process, which led to the cancellation. The guidelines have been revised and the new ones will be applicable to the fresh bidders.
Other than Ernakulam, the geographical areas involved in the fourth round were Rangareddy, Medak, Nalgonda and Khammam districts in Andhra Pradesh; Alibag, Lonavala/Khapoli in Maharashtra; Guna in Madhya Pradesh; and Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Bids would be invited for those areas in the next round, the official said. With a vessel carrying liquefied natural gas having arrived at the Petronet LNG terminal at Puthuvype earlier this week, it is a matter of days before the supply of regasified LNG to consumers begins. Bulk consumers in the industrial sector will get gas in the initial phase. Piped natural gas (PNG), under the CGS project, could be supplied to domestic consumers through pipelines connected to the main lines, once the process being initiated by PNGRB is completed.
GAIL India has already laid natural gas pipelines beginning from the LNG terminal at Puthuvype to Udyogamandal and Ambalamugal within the city, for the industrial consumers of FACT and BPCL Kochi. The city gas distribution network could be connected to these pipelines for onward domestic supply.
Petronet LNG Limited is foraying into direct marketing of LNG supplies through trucks to LNG hubs and satellite stations in regions not served by pipelines, under the brand name Taral Gas. The company was ready to provide Taral Gas to domestic consumers, A.K. Balyan, managing director, said here recently. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has already floated a joint venture with GAIL India for gas distribution in the domestic sector. Such entities will have to take part in the bidding process and PNGRB will select the operators for distribution to households.