By June, Chennai’s first piped natural gas (PNG) connection in homes will be given. This, thanks to the State government stepping up and directing line departments to provide permissions, especially road cutting, for laying pipelines from the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) terminal at Ennore. The first customers are expected to be a very large apartment complex near Tirumangalam. “The Industries department is helping us and a nodal agency too has been appointed to oversee the implementation of CNG projects,” said another source.
Oil industry sources said the private company entrusted with the task will lay around 6,666 km of lines in Chennai and Tiruvallur. “Laying the lines would be the most difficult part since other lines, including water, sewage, power, internet and telephone lines, run under the city’s roads,” said a source.
About 33 lakh consumers are expected to be covered in the next eight years in Chennai and neighbouring Tiruvallur. The main pipeline for now will run along the Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, via Manali, to Madhavaram Circle, reach Kathipara and then to Meenabakkam. Branch lines would run to residential areas. “Since there are not many high-rise buildings in this area, the company would be covering individual homes.
The connection would be like those provided in reticulated LPG connections where the gas would run through pipelines.
There will not be any cylinder. If the company collects the initial payment, it will have to provide connections within 90 days and so canvassing would be done closer to the time that the pipeline laying work nears completion,” said another source.
PNG stoves require burners with larger diameter and the nozzles too have to be larger. The Petroleum Conservation Research Association is encouraging consumers to switch over to PNG compatible stoves.
Of the 222 CNG outlets to be set up in Chennai and Tiruvallur, around 70 have become operational and daily 10,000 kg of CNG is being supplied to around 6,800 vehicles, of which around 6,000 are CNG vehicles sold by manufacturers, with the rest being retrofitted ones. “The government is encouraging retrofitting too and we are seeing many auto rickshaws that used to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) now switching over to this new cleaner and safer fuel.
Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu district are being covered by another company.