The AP Gas Infrastructure Corporation (APGIC) has submitted an expression of interest for laying a mini trunk line between Chennai and Mannavaram via Nellore.

The State-owned gas exploration company, which successfully bid for four oil blocks along with ONGC in the Krishna Godavari basin last year, is now keen to play a role in marketing through the City Gas Distribution Network.

In line with this strategy, the corporation has sent proposals to the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board to lay three mini trunk lines. While it submitted a proposal for Kakinada –Srikakulam pipeline over a month ago, the second one was despatched on Tuesday and is readying another one for the Bangalore-Anantapur pipeline. Once the PNGRB notified these proposals, bids will be invited from interested players besides APGIC, said Investment and Infrastructure Principal Secretary Ajay Mishra.

The three mini trunk lines will be part of a regional grid covering all districts to cater to the gas requirement in the domestic, industrial, transport, energy sectors, said APIIC Managing Director B. R. Meena.

Meanwhile, the Government has given in-principle approval for the APGIC to float two companies – the AP Gas Distribution Company for creation of gas distribution and laying of pipelines. The second one, AP Gas Trading Company is for sourcing gas from domestic and overseas companies and supply it to the regional grid.

The two companies would be formed as joint ventures with GAIL and HPCL and the details about shareholding pattern were being worked out. After the proposal is approved in the APGIL Board meeting, an MoU with the public sector companies would be signed by December-end.

Reliance Industries Ltd., (RIL) which has the longest main trunk from Kakinada to Jamnagar for transportation of KG basin gas, will take up work on Kakinada-Kolkata and Kakinada – Chennai trunk lines. With the work yet to commence on these two trunk lines, the State has proposed the mini trunk lines to accelerate the City Gas Distribution network.

Meanwhile, the PNGRB had initiated the bidding process to develop city gas distribution network for Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda and Khammam. For Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kakinada and Rajahmundry work was in progress and some parts of city were expected to get piped cooking gas directly to homes in December.