PNGRB invites bids to develop landmark Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline

325-km long, the pipeline will have carrier capacity of 2.0 MMSCMD

Anji Khad bridge (File) The Anji Khad bridge, India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge under construction in Jammu’s Reasi district | PTI

After the strategic train to Kashmir, another landmark development - to build a gas pipeline to Kashmir has been set in motion. 

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has initiated a bidding process for the construction of the Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline. The Board is actively inviting bids for the authorisation to lay, build, operate, and expand the natural gas pipeline, targeting an initial system capacity of at least 2.0 MMSCMD, including common carrier capacity. 

The official commencement of the bidding process on January 12, 2023, follows PNGRB's recognition of the pressing natural gas requirements in Jammu and Kashmir. This led to the formulation of the Jammu-Srinagar natural gas pipeline project last year. 

Following comprehensive public consultations and discussions with stakeholders, PNGRB has opted to invite online applications and bids for authorisation to develop the pipeline. The proposed project is expected to span approximately 325 kilometres, with a mandated minimum system capacity of at least 2.0 MMSCMD, encompassing carrier capacity for the entirety of its economic lifespan. 

The envisaged gas pipeline will originate from the termination point of GAIL (India) Limited's Gurdaspur-Jammu Natural Gas Pipeline, utilising GAIL's infrastructure as a source for the Jammu-Srinagar pipeline. The authorised entity will be responsible for providing spur lines to accommodate the routing of the pipeline in compliance with customer requirements and pertinent regulations. 

The Union Budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 introduced a new gas pipeline project aimed at fostering the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored the strategic importance of the Jammu-Srinagar pipeline, emphasising its potential to enhance energy security and stimulate economic activities in the region. 

The pipeline is slated to have an initial capacity of at least 2 MMSCMD, with provisions for future expansion. It will be seamlessly connected to a 175-kilometre pipeline currently under construction by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) from Gurdaspur to Jammu. 

Apart from its economic impact, the Jammu-Srinagar gas pipeline project holds significance in terms of energy security and sustainability. The increased availability of natural gas in the region is expected to contribute to a cleaner energy mix and reduce dependence on traditional fossil fuels. 

The PNGRB is meticulously overseeing the entire bidding process, with the deadline for the submission of bids set for May 13, 2024. 

This transformative project is poised to play a pivotal role in the economic development of the Kashmir Valley, aligning with the vision articulated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget announcement. It is anticipated to create job opportunities, spur industrial growth, and provide a reliable energy source for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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