The east-west pipeline that is being laid by Reliance Industries Ltd between Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and Bharuch in Gujarat, is likely to be ready by December this year.
According to senior RIL executives, more than half the work has been completed on the pipeline, which will transport gas from the KG basin to the RIL refinery at Jamnagar.
Further, RIL will set up two advanced master control centres at its Nocil facility in Mumbai and at Kakinada to monitor and control the flow of gas through the 7,000-km pipeline using the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System, an optical fibre cable network along the pipeline.
Mechanical works are likely to be completed by December and for another two to three months, the pipeline will be put on dry run, to make it ready for gas transportation.
RIL hopes to start the production of gas from the KG basin by the middle of 2008.
The company has already inked an agreement with Gujarat State Petronet Ltd to transport gas from Bhadbhut in Bharuch to its refinery and petrochemical complex in Jamnagar. After receiving gas from RIL, GSPL will transport the same using its existing pipeline between Bharuch and Rajkot and through new pipelines laid upto Jamnagar.
RIL is also planning another pipeline in the next phase from Kakinada to Chennai, and from there to Bangalore and Mangalore.
The experts said ducts for inserting SCADA cables have been laid for more than half the entire pipeline route. The SCADA is a crucial security backbone for gas or oil pipelines and key infrastructure projects. It is important for regulating and monitoring the pressure and flow of gas, temperature inside the pipeline and cathodic protection or corrosion monitoring.
While ducts for only about half a dozen OFC lines are required for the current pipeline, RIL is laying ducts for accommodating about 24 lines, said sources.
"Our planning involves requirements for the future. With technology advancing every day, we try to use the best available and the network could be used for other options in future. It may not be easy to lay additional lines, once we complete the current work," said an RIL spokesperson.
He noted that RIL already has an advanced IT network in place to monitor and control its petroleum distribution business.
The work is split into eight segments covering Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat, and is monitered by two project offices in Mumbai and Hyderabad. More than 1,500 workers are associated with the pipeline project, including skilled workers from China.