KOCHI: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laying the foundation stone for the ninth bidding round of City Gas Distribution(CGD) scheme on Thursday, nearly 600 CNG pumps and piped natural gas(PNG) connection to 17 lakh households spanning seven districts in Kerala will turn a reality.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) launched the ninth CGD Bidding round on April 12 inviting participation in 86 locations spread over 174 districts in 22 states and Union Territories. It will cover 26 per cent of the country’s population and 24 per cent of its geographical area. Currently, there are 91 CGD networks in India covering 19 per cent of the country’s population.
This round includes four GAs from Kerala, which cover Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Kannur and Kasargod districts. The project taken up by Indian Oil-Adani Gas Private Ltd is scheduled to be completed in under eight years. The bidding company will also get the rights to distribute LNG and also be responsible for developing the infrastructure for further distribution network.
Over the next five years, 5,827 km-long pipeline will be laid at a cost of ` 1,200 crore and the project will provide direct employment to 9,500 skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labourers in the state.
Additionally, the 10th round of bidding for 50 GA, spanning 14 states will be initiated on Thursday. In Kerala, 3 GAs which cover Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta will be up for grabs. With the completion of the 10th round, 52 per cent of the area, 70 per cent of the population and 402 districts across the country will be covered by the CGD network. The IOC is pretty confident LNG promotion will not impact other energy sources like LPG, petrol and diesel. “The per capita energy consumption in India comes to only a third of the global average. The country’s energy requirement will increase in the future and hence we can’t depend on a single source of energy to meet our needs. We need to tap into all the available energy sources,” said P S Mony, IOC CGM and Kerala head.
Ernakulam, which hosts the novel CGD GA in the state, already has 30,000 domestic connections and four CNG pumps. The IOC plans to achieve the target of 40,000 connections and 20 CNG stations by 2020. “We have sought necessary permission to initiate pipe-laying within city limits and submitted NOC requests for more CNG stations,” said Mony. IOC is confident of opening five more CNG outlets available in the city by March 2019. Apart from the launch by PM through a webcast, state-level events at Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad and Kannur, attended by the ministers, MPs and MLAs will be held on the occasion.