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Maharashtra plans gas network to boost industry

Maharashtra plans to create a vast natural gas grid across the state to boost industry, reports Dhamendra Jore.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 22:00 IST

Industrial application and growth opportunities in the sector has recommended the government to lat a state wide gas network for supply to the industry and also to set up a petroleum university near Mumbai.

The University will enable the State to train over two lakh workforce could be trained to meet the challenge of laying gas grid across the State and maintaining it in future.

The state's new industry policy has focused on having a vast natural gas grid reaching out to remote areas so that more industries are attracted. Presently, the installations like Bombay High, Krishna Godavari Basin provide liquid natural gas for the industrial use. Since their role is limited to urban areas, the State has asked for extending the facilities to industrial backward places. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation will construct the grid with public and private participation.

While industrial demand for natural gas in on rise nationally and state-vide, the domestic suppliers too are finding it difficult to expand their base like in Mumbai – the State’s only major urban center where limited number of people have been able to get piped natural gas (PNG). According to committee, the State's total gas requirement is about 50 metric million standard cubic metre per day.

Considering all aspects, the committee headed by former Indian Petrochemical Company Ltd (IPCL) chairman Hansmukh Shah, has in its final report, suggested that a petroleum university be set up near Mumbai. "The university will help create over two lakh trained personnel required for the natural gas sector," said the report that was submitted to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday. Early last year the committee had submitted an interim report which prompted the state to include some recommendations in the new industry policy released on November 1 this year.

Other recommendations are—expanding a liquid natural gas terminal now operational at Dabhol where the gas is offloaded for running the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited's electricity plant, to make a blue print for gas distribution network in the state and encouragement for gas-based power plants.

Reacting to the report, Deshmukh said that the gas grid would help Maharashtra's economically backward areas get more industries. "We must sign memorandum of understanding with interested parties so that they extend assistance to the people while laying gas pipelines through the respective backward regions."


* Establish a petroleum university near Mumbai to train 2 lakh technicians/engineers

* Expand a liquid natural gas terminal now operational at Dabhol

* Make a blue print for gas distribution network in the state

* Encourage gas-based power plants.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 22:00 IST