Public sector oil marketing companies will spend Rs.1,000 crore over three to four years to strengthen marketing network and infrastructure in Kerala.

The investment included Rs.30 crore for setting up a new 60,000-tonne capacity bottling plant in Kozhikode by Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, said S. Sundareshan, Union Secretary for Petroleum and Natural Gas here on Friday. He was addressing a press conference after meeting top oil industry officials to review the progress of work on LNG terminal and related facilities here.

He said that oil marketing companies had been encouraged by the growth of the Kerala market, where cooking gas penetration was 80 per cent compared to the national average of 50 per cent. Over 60 lakh households in Kerala had LPG connections.

Fifty per cent held double bottle connections.

Gas market

Cooking gas market was growing four to five per cent a year while petroleum market in the State was growing 14 per cent and the diesel market six to seven per cent. Kerala was an important segment for the oil companies, said Mr. Sundareshan.

He said that the work on the LNG terminal would be completed in the first quarter of 2012. Gas Authority of India (GAIL) will invest Rs.2,600 crore for laying pipeline for natural gas in the State.

These include supplies to Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore and a sub-sea line to NTPC's Kayamkulam power generation facility.

GAIL has floated tenders for the pipeline project and it is expected to be ready by the end of 2011.

In the second phase, GAIL will link Kochi LNG terminal to Mangalore with a diversion to Bangalore.

This phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Mr. Sundareshan said that Petronet LNG was not immediately looking to set up a power generation facility near the LNG terminal on Puthuvype Island.

The arrival of LNG in Kochi would help the State set up new power generation facilities.

Keywords: KeralaGAIL

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