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LNG Terminal hits another roadblock

Published: 01st June 2013 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2013 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

It seems that the commissioning of the Petronet LNG Terminal at Puthuvype may hit another roadblock due to the lack of proper coordination between Petronet LNG and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), which is responsible for laying the pipeline. The construction of the plant started in 2008 and even after five years the project is dragging. Though the commissioning date has been tentatively fixed around end July, considering the ground realities, the project could be delayed further, industry sources said. P Rajeev MP, who was the member of the committee formed to resolve the issues related to pipeline laying in Ernakulam district, said that a lack of proper coordination between the two public sector entities is a major reason behind the continuous delay in the LNG infrastructure project. “It is learnt that officials have not conducted any spot visit to the sites where the pipelines are being laid. The demand from residents is for adequate compensation. It is suspected that there is a conflict of interest between Petronet and GAIL officials which may be another reason behind the continuous delay,” he added. GAIL India Limited has a 12.5 per cent stake in Petronet LNG Limited which was incorporated on April 2, 1998 with an aim to enhance the energy security of the country. The shareholding pattern of Petronet LNG Limited is as follows: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (12.5%), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (12.5%), Gail India Limited (12.5%), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (12.5%), GDF International (10%), Asian Development Bank (5.2%) and public share holding (34.8%). According to sources at Petronet LNG, the vested interests of a section of people are the prime reason for the non-commissioning of the terminal. “The land acquisition is done based on a law framed in 1964. The quoted rates as per the law are too low. GAIL has not made any efforts to amend this law, which is the major hindrance in front of the project, as land is scarce in the state. The problems can be solved if the respective district collectors are given the power to acquire land. But GAIL is not thinking about this option either,” they said. However, GAIL Deputy General Manager K P Ramesh chose to strike a different note and said that ignorance of the people and political leaders regarding the advantages of LNG is the major problem. “Land valuation and acquisition are done as per the law. A competent authority, designated by the central government is responsible for this task. There is no need to amend the law,” he opined. He added that if protests were to go on unabated, GAIL would have to shelve the project.

 



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