Downstream oil regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board has invited bids for laying a 300km gas pipeline connecting the site of RIL’s CBM production in Shahdol in MP to Phulpur in UP. Earlier this year, Mukesh Ambani promoted Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd had approached the Board with an Expression of Interest (EoI) to lay down the pipeline.
The Board will commence sale of bid document from November 22 and March 14, 2013 is the last date for purchase of the document. Last date for submission of bid is March 21, 2013, said a Board official.
According to the EoI submitted by RGTIL to PNGRB in June this year, it has identified 73 potential consumers along the Shahdol-Phulpu route. These include the likes of JSW Ispat Steel, Indiabulls Power, Essar Oil, Nirma, Tata Chemicals, NTPC and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertiliser. Interestingly, price of coal bed methane or CBM gas for both RIL and Essar Oil has not been approved for the last several months.
The issue of price has been referred to C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
“In the light of the planned CBM gas production from the second half of 2014, expeditious execution is needed for this pipeline,” RGTIL had said in the EoI. RGTIL operates a 1,400-km gas pipeline network in the country.
Last month, the petroleum ministry had cancelled authorisations issued to Mukesh Ambani’s privately held firm to lay down four gas pipelines totalling 2,175 km. The company, RGTIL, had authorisation for building four trunk pipelines — Kakinada-Haldia, Kakinada-Chennai, Chennai-Tuticorin and Chennai-Bangalore-Mangalore — set to be completed this year.
Relogistics Infrastructure Ltd (Relog), a subsidiary of RGTIL, had in 2007-08 won the mandate to build these pipelines. However, it did not make much progress in construction, citing non-availability of gas.
RGTIL had been maintaining it was in a position to complete the pipelines in two years, but wanted to synchronise construction with gas sourcing. KG-D6 and other eastern offshore gas fields were supposed to be the source of fuel for the pipelines, but in view of falling output, and no other field coming on stream in the near future, it did not make economic sense to construct the pipeline, RGTIL told the ministry in a review meeting in May.