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Tamil Nadu's demand for natural gas will be met, says Deora

Staff Reporter

Likely to get supplies from Krishna Godavari Basin; LNG terminal will be set up

 51; Photo: V. Ganesan

CROSS-COUNTRY FACILITY: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi dedicating to the nation Indian Oil's Chennai-Tiruchi-Madurai petroleum product pipeline in Chennai on Monday. (From left) Union Ministers T.R. Baalu, P. Chidambaram and Murli Deora are seen.

CHENNAI: All efforts will be taken to help Tamil Nadu meet its demand for natural gas, including supplies from the Krishna Godavari Basin, and by setting up a liquefied natural gas terminal at Ennore, Murli Deora, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said here on Monday.

He was presiding over the function held to dedicate the Chennai-Tiruchi-Madurai petro-product pipeline to the nation.

The Indian Oil Corporation completed a techno-commercial feasibility study for the terminal and identified land adjacent to the Ennore port. The difficult supply situation of LNG in the international market, however, came in the way, he said. Nonetheless "the IOC is making all-out efforts to achieve a reliable supply of gas" to commence the project early.

Thanking Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for reducing the sales tax on diesel, thereby cushioning the impact of the recent fuel price hike, the Minister declared that initiatives would be taken to launch compressed natural gas (CNG) in Chennai in two years.

Karunanidhi's plea

Mr. Karunanidhi, dedicating the 683-km cross-country pipeline, said natural gas was in short supply in the State, when there was greater need for it for power plants and industries. Seeking natural gas supply from the K.G. Basin, he urged the Minister to establish infrastructure such as pipelines for the purpose.

Underscoring the need for expediting the LNG terminal at Ennore, with a capacity of 5 million tonne, he agreed with Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's suggestion for expansion of the petro-product pipeline. The demands were not being made in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu's proximity to the Centre, but in view of requirements, Mr. Karunanidhi said. Mr. Chidambaram said the pipeline should be extended up to Pondicherry and Kanyakumari. Maintaining that the United Progressive Alliance Government attached importance to public sector undertakings, he said budgetary allocation for the companies increased in the last two years.

Plea for launch of CNG

Describing it as the first Central government function after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam came to power in Tamil Nadu, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran said the pipeline offered several benefits. The IOC would be able to recover the investment within seven or eight years. He appealed for the launch of CNG in Chennai. Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu called for the setting up of the LNG terminal.

Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan hoped that Central projects in the State would receive impetus with the change of regime in Tamil Nadu.

Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan said the Ministry was keen on reviving the LNG terminal and petrochemical hub projects at Ennore.

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