State plans piped gas for city homes in three years
The state government has drawn up an ambitious plan to supply every home in Kolkata and adjoining districts with piped natural gas as a cheaper alternative to LPG. The gas will be supplied through its energy arm, the Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation (GCGSC).
Over the next three years, the government will expand and modernise the existing 458km of existing GCGSC pipeline network, The supplier will be decided through online bidding. Currently , GCGSC supplies 12,000 customers 1.80 lakh cubic metre of piped gas, which it sources from Coal India’s Dankuni complex. It has distribution licence for Kolkata, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas and Howrah, but is hobbled by unavailability of gas. It had signed an MOU with GAIL and HPCL for a JV in 2011, but the project was a non-starter. Addressing the media at Nabanna on Tuesday , chief minister Mamata Banerjee said: “People are facing lots of problems in getting LPG connection. It is expensive and sometimes beyond the reach of common people. That is why we have decided to create an alternative pipeline for supply of gas that will be cheap as well as environment-friendly .“
“GCGSC was having problems with sourcing gas, and so the state government has started negotiations with GAIL and Hi-Energy. We will create a pipeline infrastructure in the next two years through GCGSE. The supply will be done by a company and that will come through competitive bidding,“ the CM said.
Commenting on the gas source, finance minister Amit Mitra said: “There are two companies -GAIL and Hi-Energy . GAIL will supply natural gas and Hi-Energy will supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This will be on fixed pipeline and so it will be secure.“ It is learnt that Hi-Energy has already won a bid to import LNG through cryogenic ships and supply it to the state after regasification in the ship itself. It may be noted that Hi-Energy (P) Ltd, the energy arm of the Hiranandani Group, is planning to set up an offshore LNG terminal near the Digha coast to bring gas to Bengal and eastern states. The total investment is over Rs 4,000 crore.
anandabazar patrika epaper 20/07/2016 : http://www.anandabazar.com