India building $60 billion gas network in bid to cut carbon emissions

India’s oil minister has revealed that companies are investing $60 billion in a national gas grid and import terminals as the nation attempts to boost its gas usage and cut carbon emissions.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters at India Energy Forum by Ceraweek that the sprawling network will connect all Indian states by mid-2024. “India will be connected by a pipeline ring that will help transport gas from any corner of India to a demand centre,” he said.

India remains a heavy user of oil and coal and has struggled to grow its gas sector since many of its industries and towns are not linked to the gas pipeline network. Gas consumption growth fell to just 2.5% in the 2018-19 financial year, having been at 11% in 2010.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has previously set a target to more than double the share of gas in India’s energy mix to 15% by 2030. India currently consumes around 166 million standard cubic metres (scm) per day.

The 2,660 km Urja Ganga pipeline project, being developed by India’s biggest gas utility Gail, is set to be completed by the end of 2020, said Pradhan at the conference. The pipeline will have capacity for 16 million scm per day of gas.