Express press service
CHENNAI: As the price of a cylinder of cooking gas tops Rs 1,000 across Tamil Nadu, households in East Tambaram, Sholinganallur, Karapakkam, Semmencherry, West Tambaram and Perungudi may soon be able to switch to relatively cheaper natural gas connections. While the 24/7 supply of piped gas will only start after six or seven months, registration has started in Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts through AG&P Pratham, which has obtained a license gas distribution company by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board.
The company will exclusively supply piped natural gas (PNG) to households, commercial businesses and industries, as well as compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles in the two districts, where it is currently laying pipelines. Similarly, Torrent has laid pipelines in Chennai. According to S Rangarajan, Regional Manager of Kanchi Geographical Area, AG&G Pratham, the price of piped natural gas will be 30% to 40% cheaper than that of LPG cylinders.
“The gas consumption will be measured through a meter installed in the kitchen on the basis of which you will have to pay the charges,” he said. Consumers can use existing stoves but the nozzle will be changed. Households will be charged Rs 6,750 as installation fee of which Rs 6,000 is refundable. “We have registered 5,000 connections and plan to register 40,000 connections by the end of the year.
Rangarajan said the company aims to register 1 lakh logins next year with an eight-year target of 11 lakh logins. TNIE has learned that the target for Chennai and neighboring Tiruvallur district is 33 lakh consumers over the next eight years.
However, the gas is only expected to start flowing after the pipeline works are completed in the next six to seven months. “From January we started laying the pipelines and in April we got approval from the state highway department,” he said.
The company is also building an LCNG (liquid-to-compressed natural gas) plant at Vallam near Sipcot, which will be operational in August, he said. “LNG (liquefied natural gas) will be sourced from Petronet in Kochi or we may consider options such as supplying Indian Oil Corporation’s LNG terminal located in Ennore. Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) is laying a pipeline between Ennore and Thoothukudi and to Bengaluru which will pass through our Sipcot complex.
Initially, the goal is to first supply LCNG to industry and a 10 km pipeline is being laid, of which 6 km of work has been completed. “We will bring in the liquefied natural gas, reclassify it and supply it through pipelines. We will supply the gas to industries such as Samsung, Hyundai and automakers in Irungattukottai and Oragadam.
The demand is around 30,000 standard cubic meters per day (SCMD) and we will be able to supply it via a 10 km pipeline. The industry demand is two lakh standard cubic meters per day. Once our plant starts, industries will switch to this gas,” he said. Gas cylinders will continue to be supplied to homes that do not have access to piped natural gas, he said.