LNG terminals to dot Gujarat coastline
In an important move to make Gujarat independent in meeting its gas requirements, the state government is all set to dot its coastline with liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Given rapid industrialiation and projects like Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), the state plans to double the capacity to import gas. If two LNG terminals at Hazira and Dahej are the only ones operational in India today and a third one is being implemented at Mundra, talks have begun between Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and state-owned Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) to set a fourth terminal on a 50:50 partnership near Okha. “Pipavav also remains a preferred location for a fifth LNG terminal,” a senior official said, adding, “While price of the imported gas is linked with international oil prices, on the plus side, there are no central controls over its supply.” “L&T has proposed to the GSPC to set up a terminal with 5 million standard cubic metre (MSCM) handling capacity off Okha in Saurashtra with investment of Rs 4,000 crore,” he said adding, “This will be apart from the Adanis’ terminal at Mundra port and special economic zone in Kutch district. Being set up in partnership with GSPC on 50:50 basis, the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the Adani-GSPC joint venture is already complete. It would also have the capacity of 5 MSCM.” The two existing LNG terminals have gone ahead with expanding their gas terminals. Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL), which has a capacity of 10 MSCM is expanding it to 15 MSCM, while Shell Hazira, which set up the LNG terminal at Hazira in South Gujarat, is increasing its present capacity from 3.5 MSCM to 5. “Taken together, in the coming years, Gujarat, whose current capacity of imported LNG received through the terminals at Hazira and Dahej is 13.5 MSCM, will increase to 35 MSCM,” a senior state bureaucrat said. Significance of imported gas cannot be underestimated as it will help feed Gujarat’s own industry through the existing gas grid across the state. Then, the expectation is, with fresh LNG terminals, Gujarat would become the gateway for the supply of gas to north India. GSPC subsidiary Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) has just bagged the contract to lay down nearly 4,000 km long gas pipelines. One of them, which starts at Mehsana and proposes to take gas up to Jammu and Srinagar via Bhatinda, will carry imported gas processed at these LNG terminals. The officials say, at present the Centre’s control over LNG produced at home is already proving to be counterproductive for a state which wants to depend heavily on gas for industrial and domestic purposes. “Gujarat accounts for nearly 40 per cent of all gas being used in India, and its demand, whether it is ceramic industry, power plants or households for domestic use, is increasing. The DMIC will further increase gas demand, which cannot be available if there is heavy dependence on gas being produced in India,” the official said.