India Seeks $4.95 Billion Investment for Natural Gas Network in the Kashmir & Ladakh territories

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India Seeks $4.95 Billion Investment for Natural Gas Network in the Kashmir & Ladakh territories

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Flag of India (© Shutterstock/Marques)
Flag of India (© Shutterstock/Marques)

India expects private companies to invest about 410 billion rupees ($4.95 billion) to build natural gas pipeline infrastructure in its northeastern states and the northern territories of Kashmir and Ladakh, Reuters reported on Monday 4, citing a government official said Monday.

The move comes as India, one of the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters, aims to increase its use of cleaner burning fuels to reduce carbon emissions. The country has a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of raising the share of natural gas in India's energy mix to 15% by 2030, up from the current 6.2%. While still a fossil fuel, natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal.

"The envisaged natural gas infrastructure development in north-east states would also lead to better utilisation of domestic gas being produced locally in the region," Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Reuters.

India invited bids in October for licenses to supply natural gas to small businesses, vehicles, and households in five northeastern states — Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh — as well as Kashmir and Ladakh. 

Puri awarded the licenses to the winning companies on Monday, with the entire northeastern region will be covered by a city gas distribution (CGD) network by the end of 2025, according to Anil K. Jain, chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). 

State-owned companies Bharat Petroleum Corp. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (HPCL) each received a license to set up a CGD network in one northeastern state. 

Additionally, Oil India, a northeast-focused explorer, won a license to establish a CGD network in two areas through partnerships with BPCL and HPCL.

Jain said building the pipeline network will also help monetize surplus gas from blocks operated by Oil India and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) in the northeastern states.

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