Though Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily had hinted that the Ministry might consider the relaxation in procedures for the implementation of City Gas Distribution (CGD) project in Ernakulam district, it seems his generosity will be of no benefit to the district.
This is because the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has already invited bids for the project across 14 cities, including Ernakulam.
It is learnt that Kerala GAIL Gas Ltd (KGGL), the joint venture of GAIL Gas Ltd and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, has already submitted the bid for the project. Companies in the private sector are expected to participate in the bidding process as well.
“The sale of bid documents will be on till February 4 and the bidding process will close on February 11. It is unlikely that the Ministry will relax the norms for one district. If anything had to be done, it should have been done earlier by the state government. It was expected that some announcement in this regard would be made in last year’s state budget,” sources said.
The bids have been invited for setting up retail facilities of compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport sector and piped natural gas (PNG) for households. Entities have been asked to quote the tariff they will charge for the pipeline network to be laid in the city and the compression charge for dispensing CNG over 25 years.
As per GAIL sources, the CGD project can become a reality in the city within six months of getting the mandatory approval from the PNGRB.
After two years of incorporation, the KGGL came to the limelight as the procedures related to CGD project is expected to be completed by February-end.
The KGGL was incorporated on November 2011 with an objective to promote city gas distribution activities throughout the state. GAIL Gas Ltd holds 26 per cent equity in the company while KSIDC will have 24 per cent.
The remaining 50 per cent equity has been set aside for strategic partners, financial institutions (Indian or international) and non-government companies.