GAIL to hold 75% market share in retail sector in next 3-4 yrs: Tripathi

Gas-based power plant will be handy while promoting renewable energy: Tripathi

In order to make India a gas-based economy, many would say build new infrastructure. But industry veteran BC Tripathi, CMD, GAIL, advocates the need to turn existing traditional power plants into gas-based power plants. In an interview with Jescilia Karayamparambil, Tripathi talks about future outlook, IL&FS’ wind assets and more.

Edited Excerpts

What is holding the power sector back from using gas?
We need to get power into the ambit of gas, if we want gas to be 15 pc (from the existing 6 pc) in energy mix. In other countries, the contribution of gas is 24 pc and this is largely due to power. In India, power sector is not the largest consumer of gas. My view is that we should work together to get gas into power sector.

We do not need to invest money in setting up power plant as we already have many in the country. To attract these power plants (to use gas in their energy mix), GAIL even offered to reduce their tariff, requested reduction in taxes, lowering of transmission tariff, lowering of fixed cost etc.

Is there any sector that is working against this plan?
No. It is just that all stakeholders will have to come forward. The government/the policymakers have to play a pivotal role.

Is gas supply in Indian market is good enough?
We need more domestic supplies. We have to balance—we have 50 pc domestic, rest is imported. As our import increases, we need to up our domestic supplies too and this will increase. By 2021, we will see that growth taking place.

How does IL&FS’ wind assets synergise with GAIL plans?
There is a perfect synergy of gas, wind and solar energy that is happening around the world. So, we see that happening here as well.

With Japan’s Orix raising the first right of refusal on these assets, what move has GAIL taken?
We haven’t received any communication on this yet. We only know about this through media reports.

What will be GAIL’s market share in the city gas segment?
In the city gas segment in the country, today our market share with joint venture companies and subsidiaries is already 60 pc. In days to come, it will reach around 75 pc.

We will expand to major cities such as Bangalore, Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack. This growth will go further. In addition, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) and Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) will expand in big manner.

IGL gave connections to 2 lakh homes and MGL to 1.5 lakh homes. In the 7-8 lakh connections, 3.5 lakh is driven by Mumbai and Delhi. Our joint venture projects in areas such as Hyderabad, Pune, Indore are going on in full swing. GAIL is working towards meeting the government’s objective to develop a gas-based economy. In three-four years, GAIL and its holding companies will have 75 pc market share in retail sector.

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