The consortium of Indian Oil Corporation, Gail India Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has finalised the route for the Indo-Bangladesh pipeline based on the recommendations of a study conducted by the Indian Market Research Bureau.
The study was conducted on the natural gas markets in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.
The pipeline is expected to feed the industrial centres of Durgapur, Raniganj, Bokaro and Renukoot.
According to the IMRB report, the proposed pipeline route from the Bangladesh border to the targetted markets should pass through Durgapur, Andal, Raniganj, Asansol, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Bhurkunda, Renukoot and Phulpur, and connect to the Hazira-Bijapur-Jagdishpur (HBJ) pipeline at Jagdishpur.
One spur line will pass through Bardhman, Howrah, Kolkata to Haldia, while another line will connect the pipeline from Phulpur to Gorakhpur for the proposed Kribhco fertiliser plant.
Senior IOC officials say the consortium has decided that West Bengal being the first landfall point will be given the first right of refusal.
The consortium is working aggressively on its pre-project activities following indications that the Bangladesh government is likely to take a decision in favour of gas exports to India soon.
Indian Oil Corporation has already completed a reconnaissance survey, and is now working on a series of detailed feasibility and costing reports.
"We are examining how to acquire the right of way from the states," an IOC official said.
The IMRB report says that nearly 16 per cent of the demand in 2006-07, when gas exports from Bangladesh is expected to start, will come from the customers of the HBJ pipeline.
The possibility of extending the proposed pipeline to Delhi and beyond is also being explored by the consortium.
The report states that connecting the Indo-Bangla pipeline to the HBJ pipeline will provide greater flexibility to the supply of gas in the region.
The consortium was formed by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas for the purchase of gas from the Bangladesh natural gas pipeline project.
The consortium will transport and distribute the imported natural gas in India along the pipeline route.
After the Bangladesh government clears the export of gas to India, the consortium will be turned into a joint venture company, which will be called India International Gas Company Ltd.IOC will have a 48 per cent stake in the company, while Gail India and ONGC will hold 26 per cent each.