NEW DELHI: Gas major GAIL India will invest Rs 45,000 crore into the expansion of national gas grid and city gas distribution networks over the next five years, said the state-run company’s chairman Ashutosh Karnatak on Tuesday.
Speaking to shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting, Karnatak said that the company is currently implementing several major projects that will expand its national gas pipeline network by over 5,700 kilometres cumulatively. “Investments worth over Rs 45,000 crore are envisaged in the next few years across major cross-country pipeline projects and other crucial pipelines connecting supply and demand centres envisaged under the National Gas Grid,” said Karnatak.
Of the total Rs 45,000 crore capital expenditure planned over the next five years, Rs 32,000 crore will go into projects expanding GAIL’s gas pipeline network, while another Rs 12,000 crore will be invested in expanding city gas distribution networks, which will deliver compressed natural gas (CNG) intended for CNG automobiles and piped natural gas to households. Karnatak also said that the company will set aside some capex to expand its petrochemical factories.
GAIL currently operates 11,000-km long gas pipeline network and has more than two-thirds market share in domestic natural gas sales.
Among major projects GAIL will be executing is a proposal to set up 400 CNG filling stations across India alongside a rapid expansion of its supply infrastructure. According to Karnatak, the company is building a 2,655-km gas pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal and Odisha, and will expand the recently inaugurated Urja Ganga project (Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline) by 750 km, linking it to Guwahati.
GAIL will also lay a 600 km-long pipeline between Srikakulam-Angul. “This limb is expected to be an important segment of the National Gas Grid,” Karnatak said.
Shell fully exits MGL
Netherlands’ oil major Shell fully exited GAIL-owned Mahanagar Gas Ltd on Tuesday, selling 9.98 million MGL shares on open market block deals for around I770 crore. When MGL was listed in July 2016, Shell and GAIL held 32.5 per cent each, but Shell sold 24 per cent of its shareholding last year in two tranches. Sources say the company has now offloaded its remaining shareholding with the block deals.