City gas distribution network: North-East, J&K receive 20 bids in first stage

The 12th round of bidding for the city gas distribution (CGD) network covering the five north-eastern states and the union territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has received a total of 20 bids in the technical stage. Ladakh (UT) did not receive any bids.

The last date for bid submission was January 11.

In October 2023, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had invited bids for seven Geographical Areas (GAs) covering Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim, as well as J&K and Ladakh.

“The technical bids have been opened on January 15 for all these GAs. Investors responded enthusiastically to this round, submitting a total of 20 bids by 8 entities against 6 GAs,” the PNGRB said.

Meghalaya received a total of six bids, followed by Sikkim (four bids), Nagaland (four bids), Manipur (three bids), Arunachal Pradesh (two bids), and J&K (one bid).

“Barring the UT of Ladakh, the north-eastern States and the UT of J&K have received bids, reposing confidence in the future of natural gas,” the regulator added.

The regulator intends to finalise the award by March 2024.

This initiative would help create a robust CGD infrastructure and play a significant role in transforming to a gas-based economy. This would bring investment of more than Rs 35,500 crore and generate employment, PNGRB said.

With the above bidding round, nearly 100 per cent of the country’s mainland would be covered for natural gas as a clean cooking, transport and industrial fuel, it added.

The last 11 rounds covered 98 per cent of the country’s population and 88 per cent of its area for CGD development.

Currently, there are 300 GAs under the CGD network in India. As of August 2023, India had 1.16 crore piped natural gas (PNG) connections and 6,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations.

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