INDIA: Pipeline leakages hit textile units
Undetected leakages in sub-sea pipelines from Panna-Mukta-Tapi (PMT) basin have partially hit the supply of natural gas for the last two days. Close to 300 textile processing houses depending on this gas have been forced to shut their operations due to this, sources said.
Industry sources told TOI that attempts are being made to detect the leakages. Shut down also for carrying out annual maintenance of pipelines and other installments of PMT basin, it is likely that it would take at least a fortnight for supplies to normalise.
PMT basin produces 17 million metric standard cubic meters (mmscmd) of gas per day and due to current crisis, production has dipped to around 12 mmscm, said a senior official in joint venture (JV) operations group, comprising British Gas, Reliance Group and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC).
As per an agreement with Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas, under JV of British Gas, Reliance Group and ONGC, entire gas from PMT basin is supplied to Gas Authority of India Ltd, for making it available to end-users.
JV operations group general manager OP Gupta told TOI over phone from Mumbai that fault points in pipelines are being assessed and as per initial investigation, the same could be about 15 to 20 km inside sea in Tapi field near Daman.
Gupta said technical assessment was going on and accordingly, materials required would be requisitioned and only after that, a time frame for achieving normal outflow of gas through pipelines, would be chalked out.
Meanwhile, textile processing houses in the city have been hit badly with non-supply of gas. Jitendra Vakharia, proprietor of a textile dying and printing mill in Pandesara, said that with supply of gas stopped, almost all of 300 gas-based processing mills have stopped respective productions. Normally, around three crore meters of fabrics are produced from textiles processing units on a daily basis here.
Supply of gas to textile industries was already short to the tune of about 20 and 25 per cent, forcing gas-based units to stagger for two days a week, said Pramod Chaudhary, president, South Gujarat Textile Processors' Association. Non-supply of gas has dealt a severe blow to textile sector here, said Chaudhary.
Added: February 20, 2009 Source: Agencies