The Kochi-Mangalore natural gas pipeline project is finally ready for commissioning as GAIL (India) Limited has completed the final 540-metre stretch across the Chandragiri river in northern Kerala. At present, the final testing is ongoing on the pipeline and the gas is expected to reach Mangalore via the pipeline within a week’s time.

The 444-km long natural gas pipeline project was launched in 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 29.15 billion. It was scheduled for commissioning in 2014. However, oppositions due to safety and commercial reasons led to delays, increasing the project cost to over Rs 57.50 billion.

The first phase of the project was commissioned in August 2013 in the Kochi metropolitan area. At present, the pipeline supplies 3.8 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas to industrial and domestic customers in Kochi every day. After the commissioning the pipeline, gas demand in Kerala is expected to reach 80-90 mcm per annum from 60 mcm at present. The pipeline will also provide a boost to Petronet’s Kochi LNT Terminal which has a total capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum. However, 90 per cent of its capacity has been lying idle due to the delay in completion of Kochi-Mangalore pipeline.