GAIL’s Rs 4.7k-crore KKBMPL to go live in 3 months

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Published: January 3, 2020 1:39:24 AM

“The Kerala government had taken the lead in allaying the safety concerns of the protesters in north Kerala, who had formed a collective. GAIL was able to speed up the construction, after it was explained to them that the LNG pipeline is safer than the transportation using tankers and that GAIL was taking all safety measures,” the minister said.

GAIL, KKBMPL, Karnataka- Kerala LNG pipeline, Petronet LNG Terminal in Kochi, BPCLCurrently, at 5 million tonne per year, Petronet plant in Kochi has been operating at mere 10% capacity.

Decks are nearly cleared for the commissioning of GAIL’s Rs 4,700-crore Karnataka- Kerala LNG pipeline, although 15 months after its proposed deadline. Only 3 km of the 444-km pipeline is currently left to be completed and the project may be commissioned by March, said Kerala industry minister EP Jayarajan.

“The Kerala government had taken the lead in allaying the safety concerns of the protesters in north Kerala, who had formed a collective. GAIL was able to speed up the construction, after it was explained to them that the LNG pipeline is safer than the transportation using tankers and that GAIL was taking all safety measures,” the minister told FE.

Although Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had vowed in January 2018 that the ambitious infra project would be complete by December 2018, the August 2018 floods in the state and the protests from the land-owners had played spoilsport in construction of Kochi-Kootanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline project (KKBMPL).
Once the project is fully commissioned, Petronet’s LNG Terminal in Kochi will also benefit from increased capacity utilisation.

Currently, at 5 million tonne per year, Petronet plant in Kochi has been operating at mere 10% capacity. The stakeholders, for whom the affected land was the only landholding, were given special compensation. Further, the pipeline would reduce the fuel costs to household customers by 40%, said EP Jayarajan. In Kochi alone, it would have 12 major industrial consumers, including BPCL and FACT.

When contacted, GAIL officials confirmed that the pipeline up to Kozhikode will be ready by February and thus the entire project would be ready to be commissioned by March 2020. The first 96 km segment from Kochi to Kootanad got ready by June 2018.

Tony Mathew, GM (Construction), GAIL said that the work on the Tamil Nadu segment of LNG pipeline is yet to start. The completion of Koottanad-Walayar stretch is expected to facilitate gas supply to industries in Coimbatore, besides trimming the costs of city gas in this area. Meanwhile, Bengaluru, connected to the National Gas Grid earlier, will be soon linked to Hosur to fuel the industries in this belt.

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