New Delhi: State gas utility Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) said that it will nearly double its Pata petrochemical plant’s capacity to 800,000 tons in next few years as part of plans to make it big in the chemical business.
“It is proposed to further augment the Pata capacity to 500,000 tons per annum and gradually take it upto 800,000 tons per annum,” GAIL Chairman and Managing Director U D Choubey told company shareholders at the annual general meeting.
The Pata plant in Uttar Pradesh currently has a capacity of 410,000 tons.
While Choubey did not give a time-frame or investments needed for capacity expansion, company officials said that the expansion to 500,000 tons may take about a year and the time-frame for 800,000 tons will be decided by the board.
The shareholders approved issue of one bonus share for two equity shares held after raising the authorised share capital to Rs2,000 crore from Rs1,000 crore currently.
“GAIL is looking to set up a mega petrochemical plant along with a private firm in North Asia and Central Asian states,” Choubey said but secline to divulge on the name of the private firm. Officials however identified the company as Reliance Industries.
He also said that the company will invest Rs20,000 crore in building new pipelines to transmit 300 million standard cubic meters per day of gas by 2011-12.
“Five new trunk pipelines and two capacity augmentation projects are moving forward rapidly,” he added.
GAIL identified city gas distribution as the next big thing and has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary GAIL Gas Ltd for retailing CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households.
It will create a CNG corridor along national highways in proximity to trunk gas pipelines across the country, he said. GAIL currently has a 7,000-km trunk gas pipeline network,a petrochemical plant in Pata, seven gas processing units producing over one million tons of LPG and over 1,900-km LPG pipeline network.
“The focal point of our growth plan is to usher in an era of clean fuel industrialisation,” Choubey said.
“In the process, we are all set to create a green quadrilateral of clean energy corridors in India, connecting major consumption centres with domestic gas fields, LNG terminals and other cross-border gas-sourcing points,” he said.
He said that GAIL is tying up with producers and suppliers of natural gas for marketing and transmission of the fuel on long-term basis as part of its growth strategy.
“The focus is to maintain its dominant position in the gas business, especially the transmission and distribution segment, and continue to have significant presence in the petrochemicals, gas processing and city gas sectors,” Choubey said.