MANGALORE: The Gas Authority of India Limited ( Gail) is working to set up branch line to the coastal city from the Dabhol-Bangalore gas pipeline project at Chitradurga, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas M Veerappa Moily said here on Monday. The union ministry is also actively considering a request made by the state chief minister Jagadish Shettar who in a letter written to the ministry has made a plea for a similar branch line to Hubli-Dharwad, Moily said.
Participating in a MoU signed by ONGC-BPCL-Mitsui consortium with New Mangalore Port Trust for LNG regasification terminal at the port, Moily described gas as the energy source of the next century. All coastal states except Karnataka have a LNG terminal, he said adding that the LNG terminal as and when it gets commissioned here will be the biggest industrial development to have happened in the state. “The terminal should come up by 2017-18,” he added.
The consortium will carry out feasibility study for terminal of 2-3 MMTPA capacity expandable up to 5 MMTPA. Post MoU, feasibility studies will be carried out, including technical, marine and environment dimensions. The studies will throw up concrete action plans, and an investment decision is expected by early 2014. “The ministry is fast tracking this project,” he said adding Mangalore has a unique position vis-a-vis future demand and supply matrix of LNG.
The Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline that BPCL is laying will be taken to Bangalore. Likewise, BPCL has also draw up plans to lay product pipeline from Kochi to Devanagundi near Bangalore and even this will be via Mangalore, he said. About demands from the state capital for a CNG terminal there, Moily said the ministry is prepared to set it up. “It will be done,” Moily said. All this gas pipeline networks will ensure that the nation’s energy needs are met, he added.
Later, laying the foundation stone for HPCLs transport hub at Kana village, Moily said the hub is the first of its kind in the nation. Asserting that he will direct other oil marketing companies to set up similar hubs for the benefit of truck drivers who transport their oil products, Moily said, the hub in short will be a one-stop solution for the truckers various needs – health, rest and ensure that their mind and body is relaxed so that they steer clear from all vices.