Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) may lose authorisation for the proposed 1,100-km pipeline from Kakinada in Andhra to Haldia in West Bengal. It may be given, instead, to an Andhra Pradesh state utility, as it has failed to make progress.
The Andhra Pradesh Gas Infrastructure Corporation, a joint venture of AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and AP Genco, has issued an expression of interest (EoI) to build a pipeline for the 90 km from Kakinada to Vizag.
“The EoI is going through a public consultation process. If no opposition is raised, we will initiate the bid process for the pipeline and grant a fresh authorisation to the winning company. We understand RGTIL (the RIL firm) has not made any progress,” said an official at the board.
The Andhra government is keen to expand the gas pipeline network in the state and Vizag is an important industrial centre, with the presence of companies such as Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Coromandel Fertilisers, Hindustan Zinc, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, etc.
The ministry of petroleum and natural gas had, in 2007, issued authorisation to Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd (RGTIL), a RIL group company, for the trunk pipeline. This was before the downstream petroleum sector regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, came into being, in October 2007.
RIL, the country’s biggest gas producer, already operates the 1,440-km, east-west pipeline, the country’s longest gas transportation one, from Kakinada to Bharuch in Gujarat.
An industry expert said it did not make sense for RIL to construct the Kakinada-Haldia pipeline, since the entire production from its D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari basin could be moved in the east west pipeline and GAIL’s Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur pipeline. “A quantity of at least 30 million standard cubic metres of gas per day is required to make the 1,100-km pipeline feasible,” he said.
RIL is currently producing about 60 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (mscmd) from the KG-D6 block and it is expected to raise production to 80 mscmd by next year.