STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 15 July
Reliance Gas Pipeline Limited (RGPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIl), has won the licence to lay a 312-km pipeline to transport coal gas produced from RIL’s Sohagpur block in Madhya Pradesh.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) on 11 July authorised the Mukesh Ambani-led RGPL to lay the pipeline from Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh to Phulpur near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. 
The pipeline will have a capacity to transport 4.3 million standard cubic metres per day of gas including 0.875 million metric standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd) capacity, which will be available for any third party for open access on non-discriminatory basis. 
PNGRB in the authorisation order said the pipeline will travel from Shahdol to Jaysinghnagar to Beohari to Gurh and finally culminate at Phulpur. At Phulpur, the pipeline may be hooked into state-owned gas utility Gas Authority of India Limited’s (Gail) main Hazira-Vijaypur-Jagdishpur trunk gas pipeline. Connection with HVJ would enable gas to flow to any consumer.
RIL plans to produce 3.5 mmscmd of gas from its Sohagpur (east) and Sohagpur (west) coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks in Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh from 2015. “The entity is allowed a maximum period of 36 months from the date of issue of authorisation letter for commissioning of the natural gas pipeline project,” PNGRB said in the 11 July authorisation letter. “Any failure on the part of the entity in complying with the targets prescribed in the time schedule shall lead to consequences” including cancellation of the authorisation, it said. RGPL has furnished a performance bond of Rs 13.02 crore as a guarantee for timely commissioning of the project. 
This is the first authorisation since Ambani’s privately owned Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd (RGTIL) lost its permits for laying four natural gas pipelines, over inordinate delays in construction of the 2,175-km lines.