LNG Terminal: Government Mulls Alternative Pipe-laying Plan
By Express News Service | Published: 29th May 2014 09:06 AM |
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Government will consider an alternative plan for laying of pipes for the LNG terminal in Kochi.
In a meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other ministers, Petronet LNG Managing Director and CEO A K Balyan expressed concern over the delay in completing the laying of pipes. In the review meeting held on the progress of the laying of pipes, Petronet LNG MD told the Government that the project could not be taken ahead if the government could not complete the acquisition of land required for laying of pipes
Later, addressing a joint press meet Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty and Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed said there was only 1 per cent of capacity utilisation achieved so far from the project which incurred a cost of Rs 5000 crore.
They said the government had suggested an alternate route for laying pipes. The laying of pipes had made headway only in Ernakulam.
‘’The fact that the districts like Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur are thickly populated, it was natural for the people to object to land acquisition. But we have some land available in the form of canals and its banks. We would hold talks with the Irrigation Department about the scope of laying pipes through these canals,’’ Kunhalikutty said.
Aryadan Mohammed said already land was available for 19 of the 31 LNG stations. He pointed out that there were problems in acquiring land in many of the places as people had only five to ten cents of land.
However, he said laying of pipes through Kanoli canal could help avert land acquisition in an extensive manner.
The minister said for expediting the land acquisition and laying of pipes, a state- level committee under the chairmanship of Planning Board member G Vijayaraghavan has been set up. The secretaries of Irrigation, Industries and Revenue will be the members of the committee. Petronet MD A K Balyan said the project had already incurred a loss of Rs 500 crore. He hoped that the government would formulate an action plan to speed up the laying of pipes. He said that potential clients like FACT had problems in taking the gas from the terminal.
If the project was utilised properly, the State Government would get an income of around Rs 900 crore to Rs 1000 crore per year, he said. Being a clean fuel, households could easily shift to LNG from LPG.
‘’Besides being a safer form of fuel, it would also help protect the environment .
In the coming days we hope to achieve progress in our venture’’ he said. He said that GAIL had completed all procedural matters.
If land is available, the pipeline could be completed in 6 months. If land acquisition had been made as per schedule, the laying of pipes could have been completed by May 27, he said.
Referring to the proposed ‘’city gas project’’, Balyan said that it was the Central Government to appoint a regulator and the regulator would invite bid from viable agencies to provide gas for domestic consumers through pipes.
He said Gujarat which started the project along with Kerala had made giant leap on this front and in the generation of power.