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Karnataka’s long-cherished dream of getting natural gas was realised on Monday with the commissioning of 1,000-km gas pipeline network between Dabhol and Bangalore. The state-owned GAIL (India) Limited has completed Dabhol-Bangalore Gas Pipeline Network within a record period of 19 months at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore. The Karnataka government and GAIL had signed a memorandum of understanding for the project in May 2010.
The newly-laid pipeline network was commissioned with Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts (TKAP) taking gas for firing its 6 Mw captive power unit at Bidadi, about 35 kms from Bangalore.
The pipeline will carry about 16 million metric standard cubic metres gas per day (MMSCMD). TKAP has started using gas on Monday and will run 6 Mw captive power plant. Toyota also plans to use the gas for their paint shop in Bidadi car plant, GAIL sources said.
The Dabhol-Bangalore Gas pipeline project includes spur lines to Gokak, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Sangli, Bijapur, Dharwad, Davanagere, Harihar and Tumkur. It also connects Goa en-route.
However, the supply of gas to domestic households in Bangalore and other cities will take more time as the citywide pipeline network is yet to be installed.
State-owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited is also setting up a 700 Mw gas-based power project at Bidadi.
The gas will also be available for commercial vehicles like city buses and three-wheelers in the city.
B C Tripathi, managing director, GAIL (India) Limited, said the company had to overcome several challenges while building the gas pipeline network. Of the 1,000 km long network, 300 kms pass through highly undulating and hilly Western Ghats, 263 kms in Maharashtra and 36 kms in Goa. It passes through 11 major river crossings, 276 water body crossings and 20 railway crossings. The company had to execute 48 horizontal directional drills for the project.
GAIL on Monday signed the gas transmission agreement with state-owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited for supply of gas to KPCL’s upcoming 700 Mw combined cycle power project at Bidadi. KPCL is still in the process of setting up the power plant and the gas will flow within the next 30 months, M R Kamble, Managing Director, KPCL, said.
Veerappa Moily, minister for petroleum and natural gas, who inaugurated the Dabhol-Bangalore gas pipeline project said GAIL was contemplating to lay another pipeline between Chitradurga and Mangalore on the Dabhol-Bangalore gas pipeline network for supplying gas to Mangalore. This is being done as the proposed Kochi-Mangalore pipeline work had been held up due to problems in land acquisition.
He said the base line survey had been completed already and the work would begin soon. Apart from supplying gas to Bidadi and Bangalore, the GAIL was planning to supply gas to ITPL, Devanahalli, Doddaballapur, Chikkaballapur and Gauribidanur, he said.
GAIL has also completed laying of gas pipeline across 73 kms in Bangalore city, which will benefit road transport, households and power generation among others.
Moily said there is potential for setting up four CNG terminals in Bangalore city and one of them will be taken up immediately for providing gas to transport sector. GAIL was ready to provide additional equity support to the JV between GAIL and KSIIDC for supplying gas to Bangalore city, he stated.
A memorandum of understanding would be signed within 15 days to set up an LNG terminal in Mangalore. ONGC and BPCL have come forward to set up LNG terminals and would sign MoU with state government, he said. The ministry intends to bring natural gas petroleum products from Mozambique to Mangalore, he added.