GAIL India has decided to take part in an Euro 1.03 million global technology development programme 'Charpy X 100'.
The R&D initiative aims at developing a mechanical procedure for high pressure gas pipelines. For this, the company has entered into an understanding with the French oil and gas oriented research centre, IFP.
This high technology test procedure project is expected to pave way for substantial cost reduction in gas transportation.
A consortium of European companies, comprising IFP, Ecole des Mines de Paris, Europipe, Gaz de France and Total Fina, is working on Charpy X100 which will lead to increasing the operating pressure of gas pipelines up to 140 bars for long haulage gas transportation.
The consortium wants to develop an adapted mechanical test procedure to formulate a 'standard' for using grade X100 steel for high pressure gas pipelines.
When contacted, Prashanto Banerjee, CMD of GAIL said: "We believe that our customers will be able to derive major commercial benefits from this significant R&D initiative. With higher flow rates, tariff is expected to come down proportionately."
If the project is successful, GAIL intends to apply the technology in its gas pipeline network projects. GAIL operates a network of over 4,600 km of gas pipeline across the country.
With the quantum of gas share in the primary energy mix expected to leap by at least 15 per cent in 2006-07, GAIL is looking at reducing the cost of transporting gas across its network.
Recently, it has conceptualised the Rs 20,000 crore national gas grid project, an inter-state pipeline network across the country. GAIL intends to invest approximately Euro 80,000 over a period of three year, the duration of the Charpy X100 project.
Industry experts claim that the technology will result in shifting gas pipelines to higher grade X-100 steels, which presently are limited to uninhabited desert.Studies conducted by this consortium shows that about one-third reduction can be achieved in transportation cost by using high diameter (56"), X100 grade steel gas pipelines, experts added. However, the existing mill mechanical testing facilities, designed for lower grade steels, is not valid for grade X100 steels.