Petronet to raise LNG capacity
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Petronet to raise LNG capacity

Petronet plans to raise its base capacity for LNG imports by 7 times (17.5 mn tones) at two terminals by 2014.

business Updated: Jan 10, 2006 12:12 IST

Petronet LNG Ltd plans to raise its base capacity for liquified natural gas (LNG) imports to 17.5 million tonnes at two terminals by 2014, from 2.5 million now, Managing Director P Dasgupta said.

Petronet, which built India's first LNG import terminal at Dahej in Gujarat, was created by the Indian government to import the cleaner fuel for the energy-hungry economy.

"Of this 17.5 million tonnes, 12.5 million will be at Dahej and other 5 million at Kochi," Dasgupta told reporters late on Monday on the sidelines of an industry conference in Mumbai.

Petronet is building another LNG terminal, India's third, at Kochi in southern India with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes. Dasgupta said the new terminal, along with an initial expansion of Dahej to 10 million tonnes, would be complete by 2009/10.

"Storage tanks at Kochi will be equipped to store 5 million tonnes of LNG, however our initial plan is to operate the terminal at initial capacity of 2.5 million," he said.

Petronet, which started operations at Dahej in 2004, imported 2.5 million tonnes of LNG in the year to March 2005 and has tied up about 5 million tonnes of imports this year.

Petronet was actively looking at building another LNG terminal in Mangalore in the southern state of Karnataka for one of its shareholders, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd.

"This terminal is like a captive project to be set up for ONGC alone," Dasgupta said.

Four state-run energy groups -- ONGC, GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd -- together hold 50 per cent of Petronet.

Gaz de France owns 10 percent, with the remaining 40 per cent held by public and institutional investors.

Petronet has signed a 25-year contract for LNG supplies from Qatar. It faces a tougher competitive environment if India finalises deals to import piped natural gas, on top of pressure from rival LNG importers and any new gas discoveries in India.

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc operates India’s second LNG terminal, also in the western state of Gujarat, with an initial capacity of 2.5 million tonnes a year.

India is encouraging LNG imports and is negotiating piped gas imports from Iran, Turkmenistan and Myanmar.

India imports 70 per cent of its oil and is able to supply only half its gas demand of 170 million cubic metres a day.

First Published: Jan 10, 2006 12:12 IST