GAIL may commission RLNG pipeline by March

The work site in the Netravathi basin between Innoli and Arkula off Mangaluru where GAIL India is laying the Kochi-Koottanad-Mangaluru LNG pipeline beneath the riverbed by building coffer dams across the river to help bury the pipeline.  

GAIL India Ltd., which has been executing the 438-km Kochi-Koottanad-Mangaluru re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) pipeline, is confident of commissioning the line by March 2020 and commence RLNG supply to industries thereafter.

GAIL could not meet the earlier deadline of September 2018 following difficulties faced in crossing the Chandragiri river in Kasargod district of Kerala and Netravathi river in Dakshina Kannada district. The company awarded the contract to lay the 111-km pipeline in North Kerala and Karnataka at a cost of ₹ 160 crore in August 2017.

Work on crossing the Netravathi (410 m breadth) between Innoli and Arkula should be completed by January 15, said Tony Mathew, GAIL’s general manager in Kochi, Kerala. The company has adopted cut-and-cover method to lay the pipeline beneath the riverbed with the help of coffer dams, he told The Hindu. The company’s latest attempt in May this year to complete the crossing was futile.

GAIL is facing a big challenge in crossing the Chandragiri that is abutted by steep hills on both sides and thickly populated areas. The company has adopted drilling technology from hill to hill as it was difficult to move machinery to the river banks. Chandragiri crossing should be completed by February-end, Mr. Mathew said.

Those working at the Netravathi work site from Innoli-side said that the welded pipeline is laid 6 m below the riverbed almost up to the middle of the river course. The balance distance has to be covered within about a month, they said.

Work on RLNG Terminal is under way on the Arkula-side to pump gas towards Malavoor and further towards the terminal near MCF.

Mr. Mathew said that Kochi is already deriving the benefits of clean fuel; a majority of autorickshaws and taxis were converted to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel, which, at present, is sold at ₹ 57 a kg. Autorickshaws derive a mileage of at least 40 km a kg, he noted.

However, the city gas distribution in Mangaluru along with CNG as auto fuel would take time as distribution pipelines have to be laid across the city by the contractor, he added.

The pipeline is designed to transport 16 million cubic metres (MCM) of RLNG with Kochi’s demand for 5 MCM and Mangaluru industries assured demand for 4 MCM.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 11:23:04 AM |

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