Millennium Post

'Pigging not possible as pipeline section narrowed arbitrarily'

The General Secretary of the Gail Officers Association (GOA), SK Tiku, has made an allegation that there were severe professional lapses by senior officials of GAIL while laying the Dabhol-Panvel pipeline.Tiku has alleged that senior officials of GAIL, along with EIL personnel, intentionally allowed a 30-inch Dabhol-Panvel gas pipeline to be converted into a non-piggable pipeline by allowing two river crossing sections to be built with 24-inch pipelines.

Tiku obtained this information through RTI which revealed that the line could not be properly commissioned because no pigging was possible and the in-line inspection of the pipeline was not feasible through intelligent pigging as there is this 24-inch pipe segment in the main 30-inch pipeline.

Due to this limitation, GAIL will now have to resort to horizontal directional drilling (HDD) at these two river crossings to install a 30-inch sections to make the entire line piggable, resulting in wasteful expenditure, Tiku has alleged. GAIL  has informed that intelligent pigging of the pipeline was done in 2012 except for a section of 84 km which passes through two rivers. As the pipeline is of a reduced section (24-inch diameter) at these two sections of river crossings, conventional pigging is not possible for the entire section of the pipeline and therefore, specialised dual diameter (30"x 24") intelligent pigging is required to check the health of the entire section of the pipeline.

The gas major has informed that EIL has been appointed as the project management consultant for putting in a standard 20-inch segment to replace the 24-inch sections and tendering work is in progress. As of now, an interim report has been prepared on the lapses under directions from the ministry which acted on Tiku's complaint. After ascertaining the complete facts, a final report will be placed before the ministry for its consideration.
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