Interview: Shri Manoj Jain Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL (India) Limited.
Dalal Street Investment Journal|November 09, 2020
"GAIL’S PROFITABILITY HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN ON AN UPWARD TREND"

Which are the new gas markets that GAIL is looking to expand into aggressively?

GAIL is currently supplying natural gas across India to fertiliser, power, city gas distribution companies, refineries, industries, etc. and is looking to further improve gas usage in these sectors. There is also huge potential in the city gas distribution (CGD), industrial and refinery segments where GAIL is focusing on to supply gas. Geographically, GAIL is now well-placed to open gas markets for development in different areas in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, North East, Odisha and hitherto untapped areas in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh through its new pipelines being laid in these states. These new areas will open up markets of up to 30 to 40 MMSCMD of gas in the coming 2-3 years.

The future demand growth of gas in India will primarily be derived from CGD and industries. With growing awareness of urban pollution and ban on polluting fuels like pet coke and furnace oil, we can see gradual adoption of gas in CGD for transportation as well as fuel in industries. Currently, GAIL is operating in 61 geographical areas in India to play a key role in CGD sector development through joint ventures and subsidiaries. We have planned investments of around ₹19,000 crore in the next five years to build CNG stations and provide PNG connections across the geographies GAIL companies are present in. GAIL is now supplying domestic gas to CGD entities which are not connected to the physical pipeline network by connecting them through CNG cascades and adopting swapping mechanism.

This step has resulted in enhanced gas consumption in many areas which do not have gas pipeline connectivity. There is a huge potential of LNG in new segments such as LNG as fuel for trucks and heavy-duty vehicles. GAIL is under discussion for development of LNG stations by CGD companies having authorised geographical areas along the important national highways, primarily the Golden Quadrilateral Highway to jointly set up over 150 LNG stations. GAIL is actively participating in domestic gas bidding rounds to source natural gas at competitive prices. The company is also optimising its LNG portfolio by placing diversely price-indexed LNG volumes in Indian as well as international markets.

Which strategy in your view has led to recording highest-ever profit of ₹6,621 crore in FY20?

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