State-owned gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd Thursday said it has purchased steel pipes worth Rs 11 billion for laying the Barauni-Guwahati gas pipeline, putting on fast track the implementation of the project that will connect the north-east with the national gas grid.
Work on the 729-km pipeline, which will act as a branch line from the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga pipeline project, will commence from December, the company said in a statement here.
GAIL said it has awarded "contract for the purchase of 616 km of line pipe worth Rs 11 billion for the Barauni-Guwahati pipeline, putting on fast-track project execution of the crucial 729 km feeder line linking North East India with the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga pipeline network."
Work across India's single largest pipeline spanning 3,400 km under Jagadishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra project - also known as Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga, is in full swing and progressing as per schedule, it said.
GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi said the award of the tenders supports 'Make in India' efforts of steel pipe manufacturers and suppliers in the country and marks the completion of mainline ordering for the entire 729 km section.
The Barauni-Guwahati pipeline will connect to the 'Indradhanush' gas grid network, which is being developed by GAIL along with joint venture partners Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil India Ltd, Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to provide uninterrupted supply of natural gas across all the North Eastern states.
"The Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project endeavours to connect East and the North East States of India with the existing gas pipeline grid to ensure access of clean energy solutions for household, transport, industrial and commercial applications in the energy deprived region," the statement said.
GAIL said work on the pipeline originating from Jagadishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal and branch lines to Bokaro in Jharkhand and Dhamra in Odisha is in full swing.
"Physical progress under phase-1 of the flagship project is 92 per cent complete and it is expected to be completed within next two months, whereas the balance phases including the additional section under Barauni-Guwahati spur lines are lined up for sequential completion by December 2021," it said.
Tripathi said, GAIL is concurrently executing over 5,500 kilometers of gas transmission network at an estimated outlay of Rs 250 billion.
"In spite of recent impact to on-going project work due to calamitous floods, construction of natural gas pipelines in Kerala and Karnataka are fast-tracked for completion by the end of current fiscal year as more than 85 per cent physical progress has been achieved under the Kochi to Mangalore pipeline project," he said.
The pipelines will not just supply CNG to automobiles and cooking gas to household kitchens in cities along the route, but also to industries to meet their feedstock or fuel requirement.
"City gas distribution at Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar, and Cuttack have commenced operations. Given the steady progress achieved so far, the city gas projects could soon be rolled-out at Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, and Kolkata," he added.