Gail India Limited, gas transmitter for the Petronet LNG’s re-gassification terminal here, has charged gas into the phase I pipeline in Kochi, which will enable Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) to use gas.

A spokesman for GAIL India said gas had been charged up to the Udyogamandal divison of FACT, which would be able to use gas for their boilers from Monday.

FACT is among the two customers, who have promised to avail gas from Petronet LNG Limited’s (PLL) terminal here. The other company is Bharat Petroleum Corporation. FACT will take a supply of roughly 0.6 million standard cubic metres of gas and BPCL will take supplies of 0.4 million standard cubic metres of gas.

Meanwhile, the charging of gas into the system on Sunday has highlighted the need to complete the more than 500-km pipeline being laid by Gail India through Kerala districts.

An industry official said the completion of the pipeline would be crucial to Kerala getting its share of gas from the domestic pool. The domestic pool supplies have been augmented recently by the Cauvery field D56.

Gail India has completed 40 km of the pipeline in Kerala. These lines have been laid for supply of natural gas to companies located in and around Kochi. The roughly 500 km of gas pipeline being laid in the State is part of the Kochi-Koottanadu-Bangalore-Mangalore pipeline. The second phase of the pipe laying includes 312 km in Tamil Nadu and 66 km in Karnataka.

The industry official said completion of the pipeline could result in immense benefits for the States and pointed to the case of the idling BSES power plant, which could use gas from the terminal.

Gail’s customers in Kochi, particularly the public sector companies, have been reluctant to avail gas from the PLL terminal here because of a lack of clarity on the pricing of gas. FACT said in a press statement here on Saturday that the company was sourcing gas temporarily for a period of 60 days.

The price at which FACT will buy gas is around $19 and the company expects Union government intervention and possible subsidies for use of the costly imported gas to create a level playing field for fertilizer companies operating in South India.

Travancore Cochin Chemicals, Hindustan Organic Chemicals, BSES power generation facility and Nitta Gelatin India are other companies which are set to get piped supplies under the phase I of the pipeline project.

Gail India also plans to transport gas in tankers to be supplied at specific locations for customers wanting such supplies.

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