Ahead of launch, Indian Gas Exchange invites members

  • India, along with China, is expected to be a significant driver of demand for natural gas
  • Government announced plans for expansion of National Gas Grid to 27,000 km to help deepen gas markets in India

Kalpana Pathak
Updated24 Feb 2020
A flame burning natural gas is seen at an oil refinery. (Photo: Reuters)
A flame burning natural gas is seen at an oil refinery. (Photo: Reuters)(Reuters )

Mumbai: Indian Gas Exchange has invited members to be part of its platform ahead of a formal launch this March.

Indian Energy Exchange, the country's largest electricity trading platform, is the parent of the gas exchange and has been planning to set up nation’s first natural gas exchange to tap into the increasing demand for clean fuel.

In a newspaper advert today, Indian Gas Exchange invited companies to be part of the online gas trading platform. The offer is valid till 31 March, it said. For the exchange, members would be their business partners.

India, along with China, is expected to be a significant driver of demand for natural gas. Being the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, India aims to achieve emission reduction targets pledged at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) in Paris by promoting the use of natural gas and green fuel.

This budget, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans for expansion of the National Gas Grid to 27,000 km from the present 16,200 km to help deepen gas markets in India.

Also, with gas pipelines reaching more areas, it will bring under its ambit more and more domestic and industrial consumers.

Post the budget announcement, Rajiv Srivastava, managing director and CEO, IEX, had said, "At IEX, our priorities are aligned with the government. A few initiatives we plan to launch soon, such as India's first gas exchange, a green energy market, a real-time market in electricity and longer duration contracts will enable us to further the government's energy agenda outlined in this budget."

Industry players have said bringing natural gas under the ambit of goods and services tax (GST) to transport the fuel across the country will be more effective and will facilitate setting up of a domestic gas trading hub.

The government has been discussing the idea of a gas trading hub for nearly two years now. While a trading hub would facilitate the availability of gas, the grid would help connect gas sources to consumption hubs which is key to government's plans to increase the share of natural gas in India's energy basket to 15% over the next decade from 6.2% now.

According to analysts, a gas trading hub will help people buy ans sell gas directly. Today, gas is locked up in contracts and a trading hub will be a kind of a spot market, which will be good.

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