The state-run company GAIL (India) Ltd has committed an investment of Rs 12,940 crore to expand its natural gas pipeline network to 18,000 km, up from 11,000 km at present.
"Our envisaged pipeline network is expected to be completed by December 2020. The natural gas pipeline network would cover 769 km in Odisha, where the investment would be Rs 4,000 crore", said Ashutosh Karnatak, director (projects), GAIL (India) Ltd.
With over 11,000 km of natural gas network, GAIL meets the country's fuel requirement across sectors like power, fertilisers, industrial, automotive and even household consumers. It has a share of over 75 per cent in natural gas transmission.
Banking on its natural gas network, GAIL aims to have 10 million piped natural gas connections across the country by 2002.
GAIL also plans to develop five green corridors in the country, Karnatak said. The natural gas company is considering a plan to have a green corridor along the Ahmedabad-Mumbai national highway. The company is understood to have started a survey of this stretch to set up a CNG (compressed natural gas) green corridor to enable vehicles to refuel on the route.
GAIL intends to set up 26 CNG stations in Odisha next year, 13 each in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. The company is also planning to introduce liquid CNG in the twin cities. "There are some land issues pertaining to the proposed liquid CNG project but we hope to sort them," said Karnatak.
City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), known as 'Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga'. Total expenditure for CGD projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack has been estimated at Rs 1,700 crore, of which Rs 400 crore is tipped to be spent over the next three to five years.
"Though GAIL was scheduled to launch natural gas supplies in Bhubaneswar by March 2018, we have achieved this feat almost six months earlier," he said.
Initially, natural gas will reach Bhubaneswar in special containers called cascades which will be transported by road from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the JHBDPL. The pipeline is currently under construction and likely to be completed by 2019.