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oil and gasJanuary 6, 2021

Modi inaugurates first phase of Kerala-Karnataka gas pipeline


India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the first phase of Kerala-Karnataka gas pipeline vowing to achieve his dream of “one nation one gas grid.”

The pipeline will take regasified LNG from the terminal in the Kerala port city of Kochi to Karnataka’s Mangalore supplying the clean and cheap energy in the cities on its way.

Terming it as an important milestone for people of the two states Modi said it “will have a positive impact on the economic growth” of both.

“Rapid expansion of the gas-based economy is a must to achieve self-reliant India,” he said at an online event with the governors and chief ministers of both states in attendance.

“It will become the base of the gas distribution system in many cities and would form their base of the CNG based transport system.”

The Gas Authority of India (GAIL) is building the 1100-km, Rs 60-billion pipeline network in Kerala and Karnataka and the 450-km first stretch is now open.

It has a transportation capacity of 12 million metric standard cubic metres per day evacuating the LNG stored in the Petronet’s Rs 45-billion plant in Kochi six years back.

In the next phase, the network will be extended to Coimbatore, an industrial city in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu state, and from there to the Karnataka capital of Bangalore, India’s software hub.

The Indian Oil-Adani consortium is building a network for distribution of piped gas for domestic consumption in the cities on the way.

Listing its advantages, Modi said the pipeline would improve the ease of living and reduce the energy expenses of the poor, middle class and entrepreneurs.

“The pipeline will provide clean energy to Mangalore Refinery and would play a major role in reducing the pollution in both the states,” he said.

“The reduction of pollution will have a direct impact on the environment like planting millions of trees. It would help improve health and reduce related costs.”

He said that less pollution and clean air would attract more tourists to the city and would develop a new ecosystem of employment.

It would help fertilizer, petrochemical and power sectors, besides domestic consumers and motorists, in saving billions of foreign exchanges in import costs for the country.

“Experts around the world say that in the 21st century, whichever country emphasizes the most on connectivity and clean energy would reach new heights,” he said.

“The pace of work in the connectivity front in the country happening now is never seen before in earlier decades.”

Right now work is underway on more than 16,000 km of gas pipeline nationwide which will be complete in the next 5-6 years.

He also cited examples of increased CNG fuel stations, PNG connections and LPG connections delivered.

He said these increased connections have reduced the shortage of kerosene and many Indian states have declared themselves kerosene free.

He said he had brought various reforms across the oil and gas sector covering exploration and production, natural gas marketing and distribution accelerating the process.

The government is taking policy initiatives to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket from six per cent to 15 Percent.

“Clean energy is important for a better future and efforts are on to prepare for India’s future energy needs. This pipeline will help improve clean energy access,” he said.

“To achieve this goal, natural gas is being focussed upon, on the one hand, energy resources are being diversified on the other hand.”

He illustrated the point with examples of the proposed world’s biggest renewable energy plant in his home state of Gujarat and stress on biofuels.

He said sincere work is on for getting ethanol from rice and sugarcane and a goal of ethanol blending in petrol up to 20 per cent in 10 years has been set.

“The government is committed to providing every citizen affordable, pollution-free fuel and electricity,” he said.

“A comprehensive plan for the development of the blue economy in the coastal states like Karnataka, Kerala and other south Indian states is under implementation.”

He said the blue economy is going to be an important source of self-reliant India. Ports and coastal roads are being connected with a focus on multi-modal connectivity.

“We are working intending to turn our coastal region into a role model of ease of living and ease of doing business,” he said.

“All steps are being taken to turn India into a quality processed sea-food hub. India can play a major role in fulfilling the growing demand for seaweed.”

gulftoday