Andhra pipeline tragedy: GAIL expected to restart ops in phased manner

Written by BV Mahalakshmi | Hyderabad | Updated: Aug 8 2014, 06:42am hrs
After the recent pipeline tragedy at Nagaram village in East Godavari district, GAIL (India) is expected to restart its operations in the area in a phased manner. The pipeline tragedy had badly affected natural gas supply to several fertiliser companies, such as Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Coramandel Fertilizers, and several other power plants as well. But the good news is that partial gas supply may even resume by month end, much to the relief of these firms.

The natural gas pipeline network in Andhra Pradesh runs through 870 km. The capacity of the network is 15.9 mmscmd of natural gas while only about 5 mmscmd was being supplied in the region due to unavailability of gas from the sources. Currently, GAIL has reduced the supplies to 0.2 mmscmd of natural gas considering abundant precautionary measures so that all the lines are repaired and corrective measures taken,'' sources told FE.

Nagarajuna Fertilisers and Chemicals (NFCL) and gas-based power plants of GVK, REL, Spectrum Power, GMR, APGPDC and Lanco are prominent beneficiaries of the pipeline.

GAIL is working on a three-pronged plan to restore supply of natural gas to different customers. In the short term, supply to NFCL will be restored by middle of August and the supply to Andhra Pradesh Gas Power Corporation (APGPCL) will commence by end of August while that of GVK will start by the middle of September. The full and final restoration of the pipeline will take another 6-8 months,'' sources added.

Production at NFCL has come to a complete halt, in the meanwhile, thanks to the disruption. Production at two plants in Kakinada, having a capacity of about 4,500 tonnes of urea per day, is completely stopped, NFCL officials said. Similarly, Coromandel Fertilisers is also feeling the pinch of the pipeline closure. According to agriculture experts, this situation may lead to urea shortage in the country as the sowing season has just begun.