- The government has been keen on allowing open access to CGD pipelines in order to deepen the competition in the market
- The slew of notifications come close on the heels of a draft access code for common carrier or contract carrier natural gas pipelines floated by the regulatory body in June this year
New Delhi: The Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has floated notices on Monday to declare 54 geographical areas (GAs) of city gas distribution (CGD) network as common or contract carriers and has sought comments from stakeholders on the matter by October 12. “In terms of provisions under Section 20 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 and sub regulation (1) of regulation 6 of the PNGRB (Guiding Principles for Declaring City or Local Natural Gas Distribution Networks as Common Carrier or Contract Carrier) Regulations, 2020, PNGRB is inviting comments on declaration of GA of NCT of Delhi as common carrier or contract carrier,” one of the notices said.
Similar notices have been floated for 53 other GAs of CGD networks, including Mumbai, Pune city, Thane, Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Sabarkantha GA, Ahmedabad City and Daskroi Area GA, Chandigarh, Allahabad, Bengaluru, among others. “The comments on the above proposal may be communicated to the Secretary, PNGRB either through e-mail at email@example.com or through post at aforesaid address within 30 days of publication of this public notice on the PNGRB website i.e. by 12.10.2021,” said the notification.
Declaration of CGD GAs as common carriers
The government has been keen on allowing open access to CGD pipelines in order to deepen the competition in the market. The slew of notifications released by PNGRB on Monday come close on the heels of a draft access code for common carrier or contract carrier natural gas pipelines floated by the regulatory body in June this year. Under the new code, the PNGRB has proposed the setting up of a National Gas Grid Management Services or “NGGMS” or a Transmission system operator (TSO) or Independent System Operator (ISO) which would be an entity appointed by the Board or by government to regulate access to common carrier or contract carrier so as to ensure fair trade and competition amongst entities under these Regulation to ensure non-discriminatory transportation access, capacity reporting monitoring, operation planning and control etc.
The PNGRB’s draft access code has elicited concerns from companies like Torrent Gas Pvt Ltd, Adani Gas Pvt Ltd, GAIL Gas Ltd, Gujarat Gas Ltd (GGL), Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) and Indraprashtha Gas Ltd (IGL). The companies have contended that any infringement on the infrastructure exclusivity of an entity is not appropriate and will severally harm the interests of the CGD entities who are spending huge amounts on creating infrastructure.
In its representation, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) had said, “The existing draft regulation shall lead to making the overall CGD development project as economically unviable for the authorized entity by making it the supplier of first and last resort for PNG domestic segment only, according to the IGL.” On the other hand, Adani Gas said, “The Draft Access Code will allow third party marketers and shippers to ‘Cherry Pick’ customers, and thus endeavour to be opportunistic and endeavour to serve a very select customer type or population.”
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