Forget LPG, get cheaper piped gas in TN by year-end

Households will be charged Rs 6,750 as installation fee of which Rs 6,000 is refundable.
AG&P Pratham has started constructing a CNG plant in Kancheepuram district
AG&P Pratham has started constructing a CNG plant in Kancheepuram district

CHENNAI: As the price of a cooking gas cylinder breaches Rs 1,000 across Tamil Nadu, households in East Tambaram, Sholinganallur, Karapakkam, Semmencherry, West Tambaram, and Perungudi might be able to switch to relatively cheaper piped natural gas connections soon. While 24x7 supply of piped gas will begin only after six or seven months, registration has started in Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts through AG&P Pratham, which was awarded a gas distribution licence by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board.

The company will exclusively supply piped natural gas (PNG) to households, commercial businesses, and industries, and compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in vehicles in the two districts, where it is currently laying pipelines. Similarly, Torrent has been laying pipelines in Chennai. According to S Rangarajan, regional head, Kanchi Geographical Area, AG&G Pratham, the price of piped natural gas will be 30% to 40% cheaper than LPG cylinders.

“The gas consumption will be measured through a meter installed in the kitchen based on which you have to pay the charges,” he said. Consumers can use the existing stoves but the nozzle will be changed. Households will be charged Rs 6,750 as installation fee of which Rs 6,000 is refundable. “We have registered 5,000 connections and are planning to register 40,000 connections by the end of the year.

Rangarajan said the company aims to register 1 lakh connections next year with an eight-year target of 11 lakh connections. TNIE learnt the target for Chennai and neighbouring Tiruvallur district is 33 lakh consumers over the next eight years.Registrations started in March and connections, like installing pipeline verticals, will be given in a month’s time under a ‘Get Now and Pay Later’ scheme.

However, gas is set to begin flowing only after the pipeline work is completed in the next six to seven months. “From January we started laying the pipelines and in April we got the approval from the State Highways Department,” he said.

The company is also constructing a LCNG (liquid to compressed natural gas) plant in Vallam near Sipcot, which will be operational in the month of August, he said. “The LNG (liquefied natural gas) will be sourced from Petronet in Kochi or we may look into options such as sourcing it from the Indian Oil Corporation’s LNG terminal located in Ennore. Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) is laying a pipeline between Ennore and Thoothukudi and to Bengaluru which will be passing through our Sipcot complex.”

Initially, the focus is to supply the LCNG to industry first and a 10-km pipeline is being laid, of which work on 6 km has been completed. “We will be bringing in the liquefied natural gas, reclassifying it, and supplying it through pipelines. We will be supplying the gas to industries such as Samsung, Hyundai, and car manufacturers in Irungattukottai and Oragadam.

The demand is around 30,000 standard cubic metres per day (SCMD) and we will be able to supply this through a 10-km pipeline. The demand from industry is two lakh standard cubic metres per day . Once our plant starts, industries will switch over to this gas,” he said.Gas cylinders will continue to be supplied to those houses that don’t have access to piped natural gas, he said.

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