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Steps taken shall lead to three-fold increase in Natural Gas consumption by 2030: Puri

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, MAR 05, 2024: IN a significant stride towards achieving 100% coverage of country's area for the development of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) hosted a Concluding Ceremony for the 12th CGD Bidding Round here yesterday. The event was inaugurated by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs, in the presence of Tarun Kapoor, Adviser to Prime Minister, Dr Anil Kumar Jain, Chairperson, PNGRB, Board Members and Secretary of PNGRB. There was a large presence of key stakeholders from the oil and gas sector of the country and the successful bidders of 12 th CGD Bidding Round.

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs, distributing Letters of Intent to successful bidders

During the event, Hardeep Singh Puri distributed the Letter of Intent to successful bidders of 12th CGD Bidding Round for their respective Geographical Areas. The Minister acknowledged the efforts of MoPNG, PNGRB and the successful bidders towards building a robust oil and gas infrastructure. Minister highlighted that the Government has set an objective to invest USD67 Billion in the natural gas sector in the next six years in order to provide Natural Gas to the end consumer at stable price. He further stated that in the recent years, support has been provided through policy and Regulatory framework for promotion of Natural Gas in the country.

Puri informed that the current measures planned by the Government shall lead to three-fold increase in Natural Gas consumption i.e. 185 MMSCMD to 500 MMSCMD by 2030 and also help in promoting ancillary industries dependent on Natural Gas. Minister appreciated PNGRB for bringing Unified Tariff reform which would especially benefit the customers of far flung areas of the country.

Elaborating on the 12th CGD Bidding Round, the Minister said that in the 12th bidding round a total of 8 Geographical Areas were offered covering 6 North East States- Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim & Mizoram and 2 Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. This round in totality covered 103 Districts. "Subsequent to this round, authorization for development of City Gas Distribution Networks in the entire country (except Islands) shall be awarded.", he said. He said that the anticipated investment for 12th CGD Bidding Round is Rs. 41,000 Crores generating considerable employment opportunities.

Giving a snapshot of the Natural Gas infrastructure of the country, the Minister said that over 33,753 Kms of natural gas trunk pipelines are authorized in the country out of which around 24,623 Kms of pipeline are currently operational. He noted that there are 300 GAs authorized in the country, covering 98% of the population and 88% of its area for development of CGD Network. "1.21 Crore domestic PNG connections and 6,258 CNG stations have been established in the country till date. All this has been possible due to the robust gas grid of India.", he said.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Anil Kumar Jain, the Chairperson, articulated PNGRB's current focus on creation of a vibrant and sustainable gas infrastructure across the entire country. The initiation of this bidding round specifically tailored for these States/UT reflects a strategic move to provide cleaner fuel within the delicate ecosystems of these regions. Dr. Jain further mentioned that CNG has a lot of potential in these states. In this regard, the development of North Eastern Gas Grid and Gurdaspur - Jammu Natural Gas Pipeline which have been authorized will play vital role for the development of natural gas network.

Tarun Kapoor appreciated the impressive strides made by PNGRB, through the CGD initiatives undertaken in the bidding rounds. He also highlighted that the GAs offered under the 12th CGD Bidding Round are difficult areas which would require higher Capital Investment. Additionally, Tarun Kapoor also stated that the PNG connection and CNG connection numbers needs to take off even more and in order to achieve this he highlighted the need for shifting existing industries to Natural Gas by providing them a stable and competitive price. Tarun Kapoor also shared that combination of Natural Gas with Hydrogen Blending or Compressed Bio-Gas Blending should be explored.

Until 2014, only 57 Geographical Areas were authorized for development of City Gas Distribution Network in the country. Since then, there has been immense growth in the CGD sector and with successful completion of 12th CGD Bidding Round, wherein 7 more GAs are being authorized, with the addition of 250 GAs with in the last 10 years, the entire country has been authorized for development of CGD network. 

This landmark achievement by PNGRB will provide access to cleaner cooking fuel for households, support industrial and commercial facilities, and fuel transportation, marking a giant leap towards achieving a gas-based economy and would greatly help in conserving the natural environment of the country.


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