GAIL (India) Ltd, the nation's biggest gas utility, has put West Bengal on the gas map of India after it completed laying a ₹2,433-crore pipeline that will bring to the state cooking fuel that is cheaper than LPG and CNG that costs less than petrol and diesel, and fuel to produce urea for all its requirement.
The 348-kilometer pipeline from Dobhi in Bihar to Durgapur in West Bengal is part of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project to take environment-friendly natural gas to India's eastern parts which hereto was left untouched by the benefits of the gas-based economy.
"The government's consistent push for a gas-based economy that not just reduces carbon emissions but provides reliable and convenient fuel has opened new paradigms and the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga is one of them," GAIL Chairman and Managing Director Manoj Jain said.
(Also Read: Reliance buys two-thirds of own gas from KG-D6; GAIL, Shell among other buyers)
The massive project connects the endpoint of legacy gas pipelines at Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to the eastern states of Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Odisha.
While GAIL had previously commissioned a pipeline up to Bihar, "the Prime Minister will on Sunday dedicate to the nation the Dobhi-Durgapur section," he said.
The pipeline will provide gas to Matix fertiliser plant at Durgapur, which can produce "the entire requirement of urea of West Bengal," he said.
Besides supplying gas that is cheaper than alternate liquid fuels to industries, the pipeline would also bring the city gas network in towns along its route.
"In the next 3 years, 3-4 lakh piped natural gas connections will be provided to household kitchens and 200 CNG stations will be set up in these places," he said.
CNG, which can replace diesel in buses as well as petrol in cars, is 30-40 per cent cheaper than petrol and diesel, he said adding gas piped to household kitchens will be 20-30 per cheaper than LPG cylinders.
Besides being cheaper, piped natural gas is convenient as it ends the hassle of booking a LPG refill every month.
The city gas networks, which started in Gujarat, have rapidly spread to towns and cities in western and northern parts of the country. The southern part is now joining and West Bengal too would usher in the same revolution with this pipeline.
Jain said the pipeline was completed on time despite the disruption by pandemic.
"It will spur small industrial zones in Jharkhand and West Bengal," he said adding the pipeline is further to be extended to Haldia in West Bengal and to Bokaro in Jharkhand, Dhamra in Odisha and Guwahati in Assam in next one and half years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be dedicating to the nation key infrastructure projects in the oil and gas sector and road sector in poll-bound West Bengal at a public function to be held in Haldia on Sunday.
The Foundation stone of the second catalytic dewaxing unit at the Haldia Refinery of Indian Oil Corporation and inauguration of a LPG import terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is among these.
Jain said the Dobhi-Durgapur natural gas pipeline will revive fertiliser plant at Sindri (Jharkhand), supply gas to Matix fertilizer plant at Durgapur as well as supply gas to industrial, commercial, and automobile sectors and city gas distribution across all major towns in these states, including cities of Purulia, Asansol and Durgapur of West Bengal.