The pipeline project faced a delay of almost six years as concerns were raised on its safety and commercial aspects

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The Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline project is all set to be fully commissioned. (Credit: Johannes Rupf from Pixabay)

GAIL (India) has reportedly completed the 444km long Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline project in Southern India, nearly 11 years after its launch.

The interstate natural gas pipeline between the states of Kerala and Karnataka has been laid with an investment of over INR57.5bn ($770m).

It is now ready to be commissioned following the completion of the final 540m challenging stretch laid across the Chandragiri river in northern Kerala, reported Press Trust of India (PTI), citing GAIL executive director and southern region head P Murugesan.

The company official was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We have completed the most difficult stretch across the Chandragiri river in Kasargod district in northern Kerala, on Saturday.

“Now the testing is on and this will be completed in the next two days. Within this week itself gas will reach Mangalore through the 444-km pipeline.”

Kochi-Mangalore pipeline originally planned to be commissioned in 2014

Originally, the Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline project was to cost INR29.15bn ($390m) and was scheduled to be commissioned in 2014. However, the project’s completion was delayed as if faced opposition from the public regarding its safety and commercial aspects.

Land acquisition for the pipeline has been reported to be the main obstacle behind the delay of the pipeline project. Eventually, the delay in the project had nearly doubled its development cost.

The first phase of the Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline was commissioned in 2013 in the Kochi metropolitan area. Industrial supplies and domestic supplies into the pipeline provided by Adani Gas began in early 2016.

Currently, the pipeline transports 3.8 million cubic metres of gas every day to Kochi. It is expected to soon surpass the four million cubic metres in Kochi itself.

In Mangalore, the pipeline can potentially supply 2.5 million cubic metres per day of gas, said Murugesan.

Following its full commissioning, Kerala’s gas demand is expected to reach 80-90 million cubic metres per annum from the present volumes of 60 million cubic metres.

The Kochi-Mangalore gas pipeline will also help the Petronet’s Kochi LNG Terminal to reach a capacity utilisation of 25-30%.