GAIL (India) Limited is planning to acquire 26 per cent equity stake in India’s first natural gas exchange, Indian Gas Exchange (IGX). It has invited parties to submit expression of interest offering equity participation to GAIL in their gas exchange company established/proposed to be established in India, for setting up gas exchange for natural gas trading and access on pan-India basis. It is analysing the opportunity to buy a stake in IGX, which is expected to facilitate market-based mechanism and drive competition. The IGX provides day-ahead market and forward contracts, including daily, weekly, weekday, fortnightly and monthly, at three physical hubs in Dahej, Hazira in Gujarat, and Odoru in Andhra Pradesh.

The decision comes in the backdrop of the government’s drive to transition into a gas-based economy, by increasing the share of gas in India’s primary energy mix from 6.2 per cent at present to 15 per cent by 2030. Currently, GAIL owns liquefied natural gas terminals in India and is a member of the natural gas trading platform set up by Indian Energy Exchange. It has about 12,000 km of gas pipeline infrastructure and plans to add another 7,600 km over the next five years. Further, GAIL markets around 96 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) of 108 mscmd of gas transported through its pipelines.