Bottlenecks slow progress of ‘one nation one gas grid’

Source: The post is based on the article “Bottlenecks slow progress of ‘one nation one gas grid’published in the Livemint on 27th December 2022. 

What is the News?

According to the parliamentary panel, the ambitious national gas grid project for an interconnected natural gas network has slowed down, with progress in parts of southwest and southeast India yet to pick up.

Why there is slow progress in one nation one gas grid?

a) Regulatory issues: These issues in the eastern part of India have halted the progress of the project, b) Small companies were given the project they could not complete, c) The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was also writing off the contracts and seek new bids, d) the proposed gas pipeline from Mallavaram in Andhra Pradesh to Bhilwara in Rajasthan was planned, keeping in view expected supplies from the KG D6 basin. But the decline in gas production from the basin has nearly ended the viability of the pipeline, and e) The matter regarding various statutory approvals for laying natural gas pipelines is under the purview of the state governments or other central ministries.

These bottlenecks in the project come at a time when India is aiming to achieve energy security amid a volatile energy market that has seen Liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices touching record levels a few months ago.

Read more: Making India a Gas-based Economy
Why LNG is crucial for one nation one gas grid?

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) needs to be converted back to its gaseous state to use as a fuel for power generation, heating and cooking. This process takes place at large import terminals where LNG carriers discharge their LNG cargo before it is transported further to the end-user through a pipeline gas network.

There are five LNG terminals in India—Dahej, Hazira, Dabhol, Kochi and Ennore.

How India can achieve the objectives of one nation one gas grid?

Completion of the linkages: Once the links are interconnected, the ambitious plan of ‘one nation, one gas grid’ would be complete. Further, the completion of the linkages would also enhance the regasification of LNG.

Recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee on petroleum and natural gas: The committee observed delay in the progress of the gas grid and recommended a) A Single-window fast-track system for regulatory approvals and clearances, b) The ministry should evolve a project monitoring mechanism in which all stakeholders may be brought, and the project can be monitored and implemented in a time-bound manner.

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