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Gas industry should ramp up effort to tap new markets: Dharmendra Pradhan

FE Bureau
Dharmendra Pradhan, natural gas, India gas infrastructure, imported LNG, cheaper fuel, CGD, ATF

Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of petroleum and natural gas, said on Thursday that the gas industry needs to put in more effort to tap the potential market in 100 industrial zones in north and east India. While releasing a report on the India gas infrastructure, jointly prepared by Ficci and Ceresta, Pradhan said that his steel ministry portfolio has helped him see the demand of gas a fuel in the steel industry.

"Many industries in eastern India think that imported LNG is a cheaper fuel source to run their factories," Pradhan said, adding that "the gas industry is not being able to visualise the market for gas as there is vast untapped demand in steel and other sectors and should do roadshows in 100 industrial clusters in north and east India".

The proportion of gas in the country's energy mix has fallen from about 10% in FY12 to the current level of 6.2%. The country needs 600 MMSCMD gas to achieve the target of 15% share in energy consumption by 2030, Pradhan said.

The government is prioritising city gas distribution (CGD), compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG), as it is investing $60 billion in building gas pipeline and terminal infrastructure.

State-run Gail dominates the pipeline infrastructure space with a share of almost 70% of the pipeline network, followed by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and a much under-utilised Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure. Pradhan said he also hopes that ATF and natural gas would come under GST in the upcoming Budget.