GAIL has supported the national gas grid connectivity between India and Bangladesh proposed by H-Energy. It has been informed by H-Energy to PMO that Bangladesh is experiencing a shortfall of about 500 million cubic feet of gas per day against its demand of 2400 million cubic feet of gas per day. This shortfall has apparently affected power generation as well as industrial production.
To combat this deficit, the Bangladesh government is planning to set up a floating LNG import terminal close to Chittagong with a capacity to handle 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG. Further, HEECPL, a subsidiary of H-Energy, is promoting a 4 million tonnes per annum floating LNG import terminal in offshore Digha region of West Bengal which is expected to be operational by end of 2015 and is intended to supply natural gas to Eastern States of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar and some Northern States through the proposed Jagdhishpur-Haldia pipeline (JHPL) of GAIL, the company informed PMO.
With regards to the proposal, GAIL has now informed the petroleum ministry that laying of JHPL was envisaged considering the availability of KG Basin gas at Haldia through RGTIL’s Kakinada-Haldia pipeline. However, since the authorisation of Kakinada-Haldia pipeline has been rescinded in September 2012, GAIL is now exploring the possibility of executing JHPL considering availability of RLNG at Phulphur from Dahej or Dabhol terminal through HVJ-GREP-DVPL pipeline system and CBM gas available from various enroute CBM blocks.
GAIL further stated that the laying of pipeline shall commence after signing of agreement with enroute fertilizer plants considered for revival. As JHPL is designated for bi-directional flow, RLNG from proposed Floating Storage and Regasification Unit of H-Energy at offshore of Digha region can be injected at Haldia and delivered to Bangladesh at Petrapol Border subject to execution of suitable firm agreement between GAIL and H-Energy and necessary government clearances.
H-Energy, in its proposal, has stated that JHPL is planned to be connected to Kolkata. The city is approximately 80 km from the India-Bangladesh border at Petrapol and it should be readily feasible to extend the pipeline to Petrapol from Kolkata. Further, Petrapol is barely 46 kms away from the gas grid of Bangladesh passing through Jessore. Conceptually, this would enable Petrobangla to import LNG from a source of its choice at a competitive price and have the same regasified in the facility planned by HEECPL in Bay of Bengal. Thereafter, delivery of gas could be taken by Bangladesh at the Petrapol border. This option is likely to be the most cost effective for Bangladesh.
The PMO has sought the petroleum ministry’s comments on the proposal. Since GAIL holds the authorisation of JHPL, they were requested to furnish their comments in this regard.