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GAIL to Soon Commission Its Much-Awaited Kochi-Mangalore Pipeline

After extended delays, GAIL India Ltd. announced on Monday that the commissioning of its 444-km long Kochi-Mangalore natural gas pipeline project is likely to happen any day from now after it completed the final 540-metre treacherous stretch across the Chandragiri river in northern Kerala on Saturday. The pipeline project was launched in 2009 at an estimated investment of INR 2,915 crore and was expected to be commissioned in 2014. The project was delayed from its set target as the energy firm faced strong opposition from both political parties and general public on safety and commercial grounds wherein the land price was the key topic of debate. P Murugesan, the executive director and head of the Southern region, GAIL, mentioned in his latest statement that GAIL has recently completed its most difficult stretch across the Chandragiri river in Kasargod district in northern Kerala. The company official further mentioned that the project is currently undergoing its testing which will be completed in the next two days and the gas is expected to reach Mangalore through the pipeline within this week itself. Currently, the pipeline supplies nearly 3.8 million cubic metres of Natural Gas every day to industrial and residential buyers in Kochi and is likely to surpass 4 million cubic metres soon, while Mangalore holds demand of around 2.5 million cubic metres per day. With the successful commissioning of the pipeline, the gas demand in the state will touch 80-90 million cubic metres per annum from the present figure of 60 million cubic metres. ChemAnalyst predicts that the project commissioning will enable India to unlock its great potential in meeting its green energy targets. Natural Gas being an essential source of energy will eventually facilitate the country’s sharp transition towards an energy system dominated by renewables.