THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Aug. 13 -- When Kerala is planning to hold the mega event 'Emerging Kerala 2012' to attract investments, one of the prestigious projects for supplying Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) may shift the route to Mangalore and Bangalore following the delay in granting Right of User (RoU) to lay pipes by the State Government.
The project is being implemented by the Kerala Gail Gas Ltd, which is a joint venture company of the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and Gail Gas Ltd, a GAIL subsidiary.
Gail Gas Ltd has 26 per cent equity in the company and KSIDC has 24 per cent equity while the remaining shares are offered to financial institutions/strategic investors. It was proposed to lay the pipeline from Kochi LNG re-gasification plant at Puthuvype to Mangalore and Bangalore via Kuttanad.
Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), which was entrusted to lay the pipes, is yet to get the clearance from the state government.
Sources said that there was opposition from the local people in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts against laying the pipes.
Without the acquisition of land, the second phase of the project, which can bring in green revolution to Kerala, will not take off.
The first phase of the project - laying pipes in and around Kochi - is expected to be completed by September. The LNG terminal in Kochi is also expected to be completed by December this year.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board may cancel the licence for pipe-laying if it is delayed.
Recently, the Board has cancelled the licence given to Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure (RGTIL) for laying the pipes from Kakkinada in Andhra Pradesh to Chennai following the slow pace of the works.
"The same fate of the Reliance could happen in Kerala, if the ROU is not granted by the government. As there is a commitment to provide gas to Mangalore and Bangalore, alternative routes from other states will be considered ignoring Kerala,'' sources said.
Some of the large consumers such as Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (MRPL), Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) and Mahanadi Coal Fields Limited are to be supplied natural gas within a specific time. It is alleged that this big environment-friendly project is not given due importance by the government.
KSIDC managing director Alkesh Kumar said that the issues would be sorted out soon. The people might be demanding higher compensation for the land to be acquired. The government would soon provide the clearance for laying the pipes, he said.
In Kerala, the pipeline will pass through Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod districts.
The project aims at providing natural gas for industrial purposes, compressed natural gas (CNG) to vehicles, piped natural gas (PNG) to households, power plants, cold storage units and wind power plants. Published by HT Syndication with permission from New Indian Express. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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