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India’s heart line to growth: Part 2

Oilfield Technology,

Extending the national gas transmission grid

To increase the use of natural gas and reduce urban airborne pollution in other regions, the government is supporting plans to double the length of India’s national high pressure gas grid by 2019.

New transmission pipelines will be built to expand piped gas supplies in existing regional markets and to extend national gas grid coverage to new markets in southern, central and eastern India.

According to government forecasts, India’s power industry will remain the largest consumer of natural gas in the future as more gas-fired stations are built around the country.

Demand for gas for power generation is expected to almost double from now and reach 159 million m3/d in 2017 at the end of India’s current 12th Five Year Plan. By the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2022, gas demand for the generation is forecasted to grow by almost a further 50% to reach 234 million m3/d.

Fertiliser factory demand for gas is forecasted to grow by about 60% by 2017. Fertiliser production will then grow by around 9% to reach about 108 million m3/d in 2022, remaining unchanged afterwards as India’s domestic production of urea fertiliser reaches its peak.

Gas demand for use in refineries and by petrochemical producers is also expected to grow during India’s 12th and 13th Five Year Plans, rising about 50% to reach 82 million m3/d in 2022 which other industrial use of gas will almost double to 37 million m3/d in 2022, according to government forecasts.

Increasing piped city gas systems

In addition to building long distance high pressure transmission lines to extend the national gas transmission grid to new areas of the country, India’s plans to increase city gas use will require new medium and low pressure pipeline distribution systems to be built to serve a growing number of cities in the future.

Demand for city gas currently is about 16 million m3/d nationally. This volume is forecasted to grow by about 40% to reach 22 million m3/d in 2017 and is then expected to more than double to around 46 million m3/d in 2022.

As part of moves to increase the number of piped city gas systems in operation, PNGRB is due to invite tenders to establish city gas distribution systems in nine cities under the government’s City Gas Distribution Project.

PNGRB originally invited bids for the city gas systems in October 2010. However, the bids were later cancelled when stakeholders called for guidelines to the bidding process to be revised.

According to PNGRB, the guidelines have since been revised and will be applied to the new round of bidding to install and operate city gas systems in various districts across India.

New gas transmission pipelines

Meanwhile, applications have been submitted to the government during the past year to build other gas transmission lines to further extend India’s national gas grid.

A number of pipelines are planned to supply gas from new LNG import terminals being built at various Greenfield locations along India’s lengthy coastline. Among other opportunities, India plans to develop new indigenous gas sources, including coal bed methane (CBM) gas.

India also expects to import gas from Turkmenistan in five years time, following progress in inter-government negotiations in 2013 over plans to build the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Meanwhile, PNGRB recently invited bids to construct a high pressure gas transmission pipeline totalling 1175 km in length and designed to carry 18.35 million m3/d when completed. The main pipeline will run 325 km from Indian Oil Corporation Ltd’s (IOCL) under-construction Ennore LNG import terminal to Puducherry and on to Nagapattinam. Three spur pipelines will be built to transport gas to areas inland from the east coast of Tamil Nadu state in southern India, terminating at Madurai, Tuticorin and Bengaluru.

The Thiruvallur-Bengaluru pipeline will run 290 km while the Nagapattinam-Trichy-Madurai spur line will cover 242 km. The other spur line will run 318 km, connecting Nagapattinam-Ramnathapuram-Tuticorin.

IOCL currently is building a 5 million tpy LNG import and regasification terminal at Ennore Port in Tamil Nadu state. Future plans involve doubling the terminal size to handle 10 million tpy, and possibly implementing a further expansion scheme to increase Ennore’s LNG import capacity to 15 million tpy, depending on local demand growth for natural gas.

IOCL estimates gas demand along the pipeline route will reach 12.5 million m3/d in 2016, rising to 18.35 million m3/d in 2025 and eventually reaching 32.10 million m3/d in 2040.

The main customers for Ennore’s LNG will be power plants, industrial estates and about 21 city gas distribution systems serving different towns and cities.IOCL originally applied to PNGRB for approval to build the proposed pipeline itself, but was told the pipeline construction project should be internationally tendered. When completed, the transmission line will become IOCL’s first major gas pipeline.

Reliance Gas Transmission Infrastructure (RGTI), meanwhile, has applied to PNGRB for approval to construct a 345 km high pressure gas pipeline to transport coal bed methane (CBM) gas from a new CBM production centre in Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh to Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh. There the new pipeline will feed into GAIL’s existing 3750 km Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) cross-country gas transmission line.

Land acquisition for the pipeline is being handled by Reliance Gas Pipelines Ltd. According to Reliance, two CBM blocks at Sohagpur in Madhya Pradesh are capable of producing 3.5 million m3/d of CBM.Although the CBM blocks are ready to produce, progress with the scheme has stalled over gas pricing as Reliance is seeking parity pricing with imported LNG for its CBM.

According to Indian press reports, Reliance has requested early approval for the pipeline project to enable the planned gas transmission facilities to be completed in time for the commissioning of the Shahdol CBM scheme in the second half of 2014.

Written by David Hayes.

Edited by Hannah Priestley-Eaton.

Read Part 1 of the abridged version of this article here. The full article can be found in the July 2014 issue of World Pipelines.

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