Water shortage problems are a serious concern in many parts of the world, impacting the environment, businesses and the economy. Natural factors such as drought and climate change can contribute to water scarcity, as can human factors such as population expansion, water quality and resource allocation. Outdated water distribution infrastructure is a significant contributor to the problem of water scarcity. In the current situation, the pipeline network is unable to withstand the mounting pressure of increased demand, which ultimately results in water loss due to pipeline leaks. Since water is a valuable resource, utilities need to manage and upgrade their pipeline infrastructure. Water utilities can discover leaks quickly, fix them, and guarantee the protection of important assets and the environment through better management of the pipeline infrastructure. Likewise, in the oil and gas sector, it has been a primary priority to build a vast pipeline network across the country. To ensure availability throughout the nation, considerable attention is being paid to expanding pipeline systems.
Indian Infrastructure takes a look at recent developments in the pipeline infrastructure space across the water, oil and gas sectors, and the key challenges faced…
Water pipeline infrastructure
To extend the pipeline network in the state, the Gujarat government has sanctioned investments of Rs 17.6 billion. As a part of the SujalamSufalam Jal Yojana, a 78 km pipeline from Kasara to Dantiwada and a 33 km pipeline from Dindrol to Mukteshwar of Rs 1.92 billion each are expected to be built. In Banaskantha and Patan districts, 135 villages will receive irrigation and potable water as a result of these projects. Additionally, the government recently laid the foundation for the Deep-Sea pipeline project in Dahej, Gujarat.
Meanwhile, under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 scheme, the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) intends to submit a proposal to the Maharashtra Urban Development Department for upgrading water supply distribution in Nashik. NMC is expected to contribute Rs 1 billion for the project. As part of the project, 185 km of new pipelines will be installed in developing areas such as Adgaon, Makhmalabad, Pathardi and New Indira Nagar, and 327 km of outdated water distribution pipelines will be replaced with new pipelines of larger diameter in Maharashtra’s old city area. Additionally, a pipeline project, costing Rs 1,200 million, will be undertaken from Darna Dam to Nashik. An investment of Rs 3 billion is expected to be made in the entire project.
Oil and gas pipeline infrastructure
India aims to ensure 15 per cent of its total energy consumption from natural gas by 2030. Efficient pipeline infrastructure is crucial to achieving this. To transition to a gas-based economy, the government is attempting to create an effective framework. To this end, the 533 km Bokaro-Angul gas pipeline stretch in Jharkhand and Odisha has been officially opened for both household and industrial use. The project will offer affordable gas to homeowners as well as industries that rely on energy for transportation, electricity, fertiliser, food processing, and cold storage. The Jharkhand and Odisha portions of the Bokaro-Angul pipeline comprise 243 km and 290 km respectively. The project construction has involved an investment of Rs 25 billion. The Bokaro-Angul pipeline section, as well as the entire Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline network, will be able to transport 16 million cubic metres of natural gas per day post commissioning.
In an effort to expand the supply and use of natural gas in India, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has constructed a dedicated natural gas pipeline to the Bathinda refinery of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL) in Punjab. The dedicated pipeline, which cost Rs 1.42 billion to build, is expected to provide HMEL about 1 million standard cubic metres of gas every day.
Meanwhile, the board of Oil India Limited (OIL) has approved the construction of a polypropylene unit and its infrastructure at Numaligarh, which is expected to involve a capital expenditure of Rs 65.55 billion. The project entails building a crude oil pipeline from Paradip Port in Odisha to Numaligarh in Assam and a product pipeline from Numaligarh to the Siliguri marketing terminal in West Bengal to increase the capacity of the Numaligarh refinery in Assam from 3 mtpa to 9 mtpa. Technip India has been selected as the project management consultant.
Building a strong pipeline infrastructure is a challenging task, especially for industries such as oil and gas and water. These projects still face old problems such as right-of-way issues and delays in obtaining the necessary clearances.
Moreover, route planning for new projects has grown to be quite challenging because of population growth and increasing urbanisation. Projects are also hampered by farmer opposition and demands for greater compensation. There are also challenges owing to delays in the mobilisation of equipment and the restricted availability of competent staff. The outdated pipeline infrastructure and system leaks caused by it are also major problems in these industries. As a result, the natural resources are depleted, and the pipeline network is unable to handle the country’s escalating demand.
The government has established ambitious medium-term targets for multiple infrastructure ministries as the Gati Shakti initiative approaches its one-year mark. With all these initiatives, the country’s oil and gas pipeline network is expected to reach 34,000 km by financial year 2025 from 20,000 km at present. In the water sector, utilities are increasingly using asset management strategies to assess and maintain their pipeline assets. They are also focusing on creating a strong pipeline network to provide 24×7 clean drinking water to every household across the nation. As per India Infrastructure Research, over 20,000 km of pipeline network expansion is anticipated in the water segment in the coming years and over 12,000 km is expected in the wastewater treatment segment.