Word from Industry

GAIL un-bundling crucial for natural gas trading hub to work

September 17, 2019

New Delhi: The un-bundling of state-owned natural gas utility GAIL (India) must happen for the country’s plan to set up a gas trading hub to achieve its desired purpose, Darshan Hiranandani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of H-Energy, promoted by Mumbai-based realtor Hiranandani Group, has said. “Until the unbundling of GAIL happens, natural gas trading hub will not work. It will not take off. If the unbundling of GAIL happens, we will be among the first ones to participate in the hub,” Hiranandani told ETEnergyworld in an exclusive interview.

Talking about the company’s capital expenditure plans, Hiranandani said H-Energy plans to spend around Rs 4,000 crore over the next 3-4 years in order to set-up pipeline infrastructure and two Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals on the Eastern coast. According to Hiranandani, the 4 Million Tonne Per Annum (MTPA) LNG terminal in Jaigarh, Maharashtra is ready and only a small stretch of 60-Km natural gas pipeline connecting the terminal to Dabhol-Bangalore natural gas pipeline is pending, which is expected to be completed by December 2019.

On the Eastern side, H-LNG is setting up two terminals — a 3 MTPA terminal in Kukrahati in West Bengal and another 3 MTPA terminal in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. The company expects both the terminals to be completed by mid-2022. “By creating assets near the demand centre we are bringing efficiency as this will avoid the need for a long pipeline to connect with the demand centres. As another focus area, we are going around the world — like our recent agreement with Russian company Novatek — to try and find cost efficient gas to bring to India,” Hiranandani said.

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