Srinagar, Oct 13: To expand the reach of natural gas in the country, Government has invited bids for licenses to supply natural gas to households, automobiles and small industries in five northeastern states and UTs of J&K and Ladakh. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) offered eight geographical areas (GAs) under the 12th city gas distribution (CGD) bidding round for retailing of CNG to automobiles and piping the fuel to household kitchens and industries.
Launching the bid round, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said after this round, gas will be taken to islands which are the only uncovered areas. Calling the Natural Gas, an environment friendly clean fossil fuel, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs said that it has huge potential in providing solutions to the environmental challenges as well as ever growing energy needs in a sustainable manner. Accordingly, he said that Government of India has focused to promote the usage of Natural Gas as a fuel/feedstock across the country to increase the share of Natural Gas in primary energy mix from current level to 15% in coming years.
The Minister highlighted the importance of pipelines as economical means of gas transport in the country. Talking about the growth in pipeline network, he said that the pipeline network has seen a significant progress since 2014. At present, about 23,500 Km long gas pipeline network is under operation in the country and around 12,000 KM pipeline is approved/under construction. Efforts are underway to complete the vision of One Nation One Gas Grid by 2030, he noted.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairperson, PNGRB, Anil Kumar Jain, said that the current focus of PNGRB is to create a vibrant and sustainable gas infrastructure in the whole of the country. The launch of this bidding round for Himalayan States is a step towards providing a cleaner fuel in the fragile ecosystem of these States. Addressing the gathering, Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, welcomed the steps being taken by PNGRB to develop gas infrastructure in country.
Currently, there are 300 Gas authorized by PNGRB covering around 88 per cent of the country’s geographical area and 98 per cent of its population. PNGRB has also authorized around 32,203 Kms of natural gas trunk pipelines in the country out of which around 22,191 Kms of pipeline are currently operational.