Petronet LNG chief seeks govt’s help in getting pipelines laid

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on November 27, 2017 Published on October 09, 2014

Terminal’s capacity utilisation is only 1 per cent in the absence of pipelines

AK Balyan, Managing Director and CEO of Petronet LNG Ltd, has urged the Kerala Government to take a ‘positive initiative’ in getting the gas pipeline laying work in northern Kerala completed.

The laying of pipelines, he said, is crucial for the gas sector and its completion will benefit the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in receiving natural gas from the ₹4,600-crore LNG Terminal in Kochi, which is underutilised.

Public protest

Speaking at a workshop on LNG here on Thursday, Balyan pointed out that the terminal’s capacity utilisation was only one per cent of the 5-million-tonne capacity and the government should give top priority to the pipeline-laying work for the successful utilisation of the LNG terminal at Puthuvypeen.

Work on the over-1,000-km pipeline in the Kochi-Bangalore-Mangalore sector by the Gas Authority of India Ltd was stalled following public protest and less than 50 km has been covered so far.

Pipeline networks

According to Balyan, India is far behind the developed countries in pipeline networks. The US has a pipeline network of about 2.5 million km, while it was only 14,000 km in India.

Kerala is lucky to get LNG while the other South Indian States do not have access to this green fuel, Balyan said. He was of the view that people would soon become aware of the importance of LNG and demand gas connectivity. The city gas will be will be safer and cheaper than LPG for domestic consumers, he added.

Discussions with KSRTC are at an advanced stage for use of LNG as fuel. Hindustan Life Care has already started use of LNG in its Thiruvananthapuram unit by transporting gas through tankers, he added.

Gas pricing

Paul Antony, Chairman, Cochin Port Trust, said there should be a change in the mindset of the people to get the benefits of the massive investment made in the gas terminal.

Favouring a uniform pricing policy for natural gas to benefit users, he suggested pooling of gas pricing to avoid the high disparity in price in different parts of the country.

Jaiveer Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director, FACT, expressed the hope that there would be a favourable trend soon in the pricing front so that gas would be available to the company at an affordable rate. The fertiliser company was forced to suspend the use of gas in its ammonia plant because of the exorbitant price of LNG, he added.

About 50 delegates from various companies from power, fertiliser, steel, refinery etc are participating in the three-day workshop.

Published on October 09, 2014
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