Expanding its ties with UK’s oil major BP, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) may soon announce plans to set up multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to meet rising demand for gas.
RIL, which is likely to source LNG cargoes from BP’s gas fields across the globe, could also offer the British energy major an equity stake in the new terminal. The location of the terminal is being finalised, said a source close to the company, adding, it could come up on the western or eastern coast of India.
RIL is already producing gas from its KG-D6 fields on the eastern offshore but the fall in gas production has affected supplies to non-core industries including steel, sponge-iron, petrochemical plants and refineries.
“The LNG terminal will help meet the demand of RIL’s own petrochemical plants and refineries, besides sales to other industries,” the source said.
The RIL spokesperson refused any official comments.
RIL had contemplated setting up of an LNG import terminal as early as 1997. However, it later shelved plans of a 5-million tonnes per annum port terminal at Jamnagar.
The company is unable to utilise own gas produced from its won fields as utilisation and allocation of gas is decided by the the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM). This has compelled RIL to re-evaluate the prospects of an LNG import terminal.
RIL needs around 15 mmscmd of gas for its two refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat besides petrochemical plants. “With plans to become the world’s largest polymer producer, the company’s requirement of gas will also go up in the coming years,” the source said, adding, the announcement of the terminal was likely to be made soon.