IOC may rethink acquiring 50% stake in Mundra LNG Terminal
Nearly 16 months after the board of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had decided, in principle, to acquire up to 50 per cent in the Mundra LNG Terminal in Kutch, the PSU refiner-cum-retailer seems to be having second thoughts. The Rs. 5,000-crore LNG terminal, set up by GSPL LNG Ltd, is a joint venture of state-run Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) and Adani Enterprises Ltd. The latter holds 25 per cent and GSPC, along with other state-run corporations, holds the balance 75 per cent. In August 2017, the IOC board had decided to acquire up to 50 per cent in the project for about Rs. 750 crore. According to sources, IOC may not participate in the project for multiple reasons, including issues over sub-concession agreements with the Gujarat Maritime Board. Gujarat government officials neither denied nor confirmed IOC’s move. Speaking to BusinessLine , Raj Gopal, Additional Chief Secretary of Gujarat’s Energy & Petrochemicals Department, said: “Discussions are still on. We are trying to resolve the issue.” According to sources in IOC, it has sought more information and due diligence is still on. The LNG terminal at Mundra is the third re-gasification project in Gujarat after the existing operational ones at Dahej and Hazira. “Though the (Mundra) terminal and pipeline for evacuation were ready by October 2018, no LNG vessel has been allowed due to lack of clarity on the partnerships,” said a source.