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Petronet eyes 2019 rescue for LNG plant

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LNG Industry,

Bloomberg are reporting that Petronet LNG sees a lifeline arriving for its loss-making Kochi LNG import terminal by 2019 after it boosts capacity use fourfold.

The only LNG terminal in southern India is operating at about 10% of its 5 million tpy capacity. Capacity use may increase to 2 million tpy after a 1100 km gas pipeline, being built by state-run utility GAIL India.

The terminal has been mostly idle since its 2013 start as GAIL could not complete its Kochi-Mangalore pipeline because of resistance from land owners. GAIL restarted work after the Indian government, which aims to build 15 000 km of gas pipelines, prodded provincial governments to resolve the disputes. 

The stranded plant has been a drag on Petronet profits, which invested 45 billion rupees in building it.

The LNG terminal currently has only two local customers – Bharat Petroleum Corp.’s Kochi refinery and Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. – restricting imports to one shipment every two months.

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