State-owned GAIL India Ltd plans to lay a pipeline to Srinagar to take the environmentally friendly natural gas to the Kashmir Valley as it doubles down on efforts to expand infrastructure to helm the government vision of a gas-based economy, its chairman and managing director Manoj Jain said.
GAIL also announced that by May 2023, it will complete a 700-km pipeline from Mumbai to Nagpur, enabling the flow of gas to central India. It further said that GAIL is on track to meeting the target of mid-2022 for completing major portions of the ambitious Urja Ganga project, bringing eastern India on the energy map.
Gas pipelines are planned to take the fuel to the east and northeast regions as well as to consumers in the south as part of the government push to raise the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.7 per cent.
“We are in the process of getting an authorisation from the regulator (PNGRB) for the 425-km Gurudaspur (in Punjab) to Srinagar pipeline via Jammu,” he told PTI in an interview.
The project needs a viability gap funding from the government due to tough terrain and few customers at present. “We will start work on the project no sooner, this is decided,” he said adding the project will be completed in 3-4 years.
GAIL is also laying a 1,405 km pipeline from Mumbai to Jharsuguda (Odisha) via Nagpur and Raipur in Chhattisgarh. “The section up to Nagpur will be commissioned by May 2023,” he said adding the remaining length will come in the next two years. Currently, the total natural gas pipeline network in India is about 18,700 km, of which 12,500 km is operated by GAIL. GAIL, which sells two-thirds of all-natural gas sold in the country, will add 7,000 km of pipeline length in the next five years, Jain said.