New Delhi: Calling Natural Gas an environment-friendly clean fossil fuel, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday 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 the Government of India has focused on promoting the usage of Natural Gas as a fuel/feedstock across the country to increase the share of Natural Gas in the primary energy mix from the current level to 15 per cent in the coming years.
The Minister was briefing the media at the launch of the 12th City Gas Distribution (CGD) Bidding Round at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi. The Chairperson, of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), Anil Kumar Jain and the Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG), Pankaj Jain were also present at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Puri noted that the successful conclusion of the 11th CGD bidding round has increased the potential coverage of the CGD sector to about 98 per cent population and 88 per cent of the geographical area of the country. The 12th bidding round launched today will help in expansion of CGD coverage further, he said.
The Minister highlighted the importance of pipelines as an economical means of gas transport in the country. Talking about the growth in the pipeline network, he said that the pipeline network has seen 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.
Puri highlighted the progress of the CGD network since May 2014. He also talked about the growth in a number of PNG Connections, and CNG stations during this period.
Addressing the gathering, Pankaj Jain, Secretary, of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, welcomed the steps being taken by PNGRB to develop gas infrastructure in the country.
Currently, there are 300 GAs authorised 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. In order to further expand the reach of natural gas in the country, PNGRB is in the process of inviting electronic bids from interested parties for the 12th CGD bidding round offering 7 Geographical Areas (GA) covering five North East states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland & Sikkim and UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The electronic bids will be invited from October 13, 2023, the last date for submission of bids is January 11, 2024, and PNGRB intends to finalise the award by March 2024.
After completion of the 12th CGD bidding round, the almost entire part of the country, except Mizoram (as the election date was announced on October 9, 2023), Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep will be covered under the City Gas Distribution network providing access to cleaner cooking fuel to households, other industrial and commercial facilities as well as fuel for transportation.
This amounts to a giant leap by the PNGRB towards improving the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix. India’s current share of Gas in the Energy mix stands at 5.78 per cent, which is slated to increase to 15 per cent by 2030 thereby creating a Gas-based economy.
(With inputs from ANI)