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Home News Power Sector News Kerala for uniform natural gas prices across the country

Kerala for uniform natural gas prices across the country

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Elamaram KareemThe Union government should ensure a uniform price pattern for natural gas throughout the country rather than throwing open the decision to market forces which could adversely affect the socio-economic growth of the country, said Kerala Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem. Inaugurating the conference on 'Gas infrastructure in Kerala: Engine of economic growth,' organised by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the minister said the empowered committee appointed by the Union government should recommend a sound policy in the pricing of natural gas which can provide a boost to the power and fertilizer sectors.

"In spite of the economic slowdown witnessed around the globe, Kerala economy has shown exemplary change. The availability of natural gas will make a positive impact on the development of power plant at Cheemeni, near Kasargod, high-speed rail corridor from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangalore, industrial corridor from Kochi to Coimbatore and Titanium Sponge factory, the minister said.

The laying of pipes from Kochi to Coimbatore and Mangalore to Bangalore will bring greater benefits to Kerala which would be a boon for industries as well as consumers. He also urged the government to ensure participation of agencies like KSIDC in implementing the city gas distribution (CGD) projects.

L Mansingh, chairman, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulation Board (PNGRB), in his keynote address said that the Board would give priority to conversion of naphtha, furnace oil and diesel to natural gas in industries which will be cheaper than the fuels used now.

"The price pooling is being done on administrative basis which can be challenged in the court of law. The focus in Kerala will be on the development of marketing of LNG giving emphasis on infrastructure which will in turn provide a good market for the usage of natural gas,'' he added.

The Board will identify the geographical areas where the gas could be distributed. Ernakulam district will be given high priority and the bidding process for CGD has began which will be extended to other districts in the state. He urged the state government to provide single window clearance for the project.

P Prabhakaran, chief secretary, said that the state government had given blanket permission for laying pipes across the state for facilitating the implementation of the project without delay.

He also said that the pricing of the gas should be determined considering the benefits of Kerala which should ensure the growth of industrial sector and creation of job opportunities.
S Venkitaram, business and development, GAIL, said that India is using only nine percent of natural gas for the energy production, which will increase to 20 percent by 2030.

Apart from reducing the carbon emission, it will help maintain a balance between energy demands and climate change effects.

T Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce, welcomed the gathering and Alkesh Sharma, KSIDC managing director proposed a vote of thanks. Prominent personalities from various sectors discussed the possibilities of the tapping the immense possibilities of developing natural gas infrastructure to fuel economic growth in the state.


Source- Business standard


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