Pipe-laying through Njarakkal for gas supply to FACT had come up against resistance from people in the areas through which the pipeline was to pass

Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has completed laying gas pipelines for the first phase of natural gas supply from Petronet LNG’s (PLL) Kochi terminal, due for commissioning later this year.

Sources told The Hindu that GAIL, entrusted with the task of laying the pipeline to meet the natural gas demand in the industrial areas around Kochi, came up against stiff challenges in completing the work, estimated to have cost more than Rs.100 crore.

Pipe-laying through Njarakkal for gas supply to FACT had come up against resistance from people in the areas through which the pipeline was to pass. The route was then shifted using a new alignment via the Container Road, which links the International Container Transshipment Terminal with National Highway 47.

Sources said that the change in alignment had a positive result because the total length of the pipeline was reduced by more than half. The length of the pipeline was 93 km as per the initial plan. It was reduced to 43 km, slashing 50 km of the mix of 30-inch and 18-inch pipeline.

Fuel for seven units

PLL’s Kochi terminal will initially be commissioned with a capacity to supply 2.5 million tonnes of liquefied gas. The fuel will go to seven industrial units — Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s Kochi refinery; Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore’s Cochin and Udyogamandal divisions; Hindustan Organic Chemicals; BSES power generation facility at Pathalam; Travancore Cochin Chemicals and Nitta Gelatin India Limited.

Another private sector company, which had initially hesitated on getting the supply, is learnt to be in queue for the gas supply.

It is also learnt that the State government has initiated steps to get natural gas for the Brahmapuram power generation facility.

PSUs readying

Meanwhile, public sector undertakings like HOCL, FACT and BPCL-Kochi refinery are getting ready to switch fuel.

According to sources in the industry, BPCL, FACT and BSES power generation facility represent bulk of the demand, with the public sector fertilizer company accounting for about one-fifth of the demand of gas from the first phase of the LNG terminal in Kochi.

Sources indicated that the three public sector companies would be ready to switch fuel by May-June 2013, in tandem with the availability of gas in the city.

FACT’s two productions divisions has raised a demand for between one and 1.2 million metric standard cubic metres of gas per day; BSES’ projected demand is 0.9 mmscmd and BPCL’s projected demand 0.6 mmscmd.

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