Qatar LNG to rescue Dabhol
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Qatar LNG to rescue Dabhol

ExxonMobil-owned RasGas is likely to supply LNG to India's Dabhol power project.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 17:29 IST

ExxonMobil-owned RasGas is likely to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India's Dabhol power project but the restart of the 2,184 MW plant, slated for second half of 2006, may be possible only by liquid fuel as the Qatari gas will not be available before mid-2007.

RasGas' contract for supply of 2.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG to India's Petronet LNG Ltd from 2009 is being advanced to third quarter of 2007 to run the Dabhol plant in Maharashtra, a top official said.

India's Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan on Mondaybegan talks with Qatari authorities here for advancement of 2.5 MTPA contract that was go to Petronet's Kochi terminal. The Kochi terminal would not be ready before 2009-end and till than the Qatari gas could fire Dabhol plant.

"Dabhol plant's new owner Ratnagiri Gas and Power (jointly owned by GAIL and National Thermal Power Corp) will by then tie-up long-term LNG supplies," he said.

Petronet currently imports 5 MTPA of LNG from RasGas at Dahej in Gujarat at an 2.53 dollars per million British termal unit (price exclusive of shipping and regasification cost) but the additional 2.5 MTPA may cost 3.35 dollars per mBtu.

"At 3.35 dollars per mBtu, electricity from Dabhol plant will cost Rs 2.30 per unit," the official said, adding such a price would be very acceptable to Maharasthra State Electricity Board which is to buy the Dabhol power.

India plans to restart the 740 MW Phase-I, shut since 2001 following a payment dispute with MSEB, by September 2006 and may use naphtha to fire the plant as LNG receipt facilities at the Dabhol site would not be ready before early 2007.

But RasGas has spared LNG from 4.7 MTPA Train-4, which was commissioned in August 2005 and supplies gas to Europe. Its Trains 5, 6 and 7, which are to be commissioned between next year to 2009, ahead of their long-term sale commitments.

"Dabhol can get LNG from a combimation of these," he said.

If Dabhol was to restart as per the original schedule of June-July this year, Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd would need 0.64 million tonnes per annum of LNG in 2006, which would go upto 2.83 mmtpa in 2007 and 5 mmtpa from 2008 onwards.

The power plant (740 MW Phase-1 and 1444 MW Phase-II) requires 2.1 mmtpa and the balance 2.9 mmtpa would be used for merchant sale.

The official said Qatar has indicated an availability of five spot cargoes equivalent to 0.3 MTPA in 2006 and potentially 0.75 MTPA in 2007 and 2008 but negotiations are struck over the price of gas.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 17:29 IST