New LNG terminal poses threat to Puthuvype terminal
With gas pipeline project falling into a deep crisis, posing a great threat to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Puthuvype, a new terminal is coming up at Mangaluru. This is in addition to the terminals being set up at Ennore in Tamil Nadu, Kakkinada and Gangavaram in Andhra.
The terminal at Mangaluru is to be constructed by the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) under the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC). Once these terminals become fully functional, the Puthuvype terminal may become insignificant. Following the failure to lay the pipeline Kerala may not be included in the national gas grid and that would incur heavy loss to the State. Kerala would be deprived of the gas quota from the Centre. On setting up the terminals and pipelines, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka would become part of the grid and secure gas at concessional rates. The Centre is aiming at using eco-friendly LNG for producing fertilizers and chemicals. Hence, such industries would get the gas at affordable rates from the gas grid.
Owing to the failure in laying the pipeline, Kerala continues to remain outside the gas grid. Hence, Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (FACT), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) would not get gas from the internal production hub. When the LNG terminal at Puthuvype was commissioned in 2013, that was the only terminal in South India. But its achievements were limited to supplying gas to certain units in Kochi by laying pipeline within the district. The project to lay the pipline for distributing gas to major industries in Bengaluru and Mangaluru have not reached anywhere so far. The project remains in limbo in certain districts due to local protests against laying the pipeline.
MRPL and Mangaluru Port Trust have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for conducting the feasibility study for setting up the terminal with 20 to 30 lakh tonne capacity. The capacity can be enhanced to 50 lakh tonnes in future. ONGC had made an attempt to set up a terminal at Mangaluru in 2005, but it did not take off. The plan was to provide gas for the major industrialists in the locale. The terminal at Ennore is being set up by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) at Kakkinada and by Petronet LNG at Gangavaram.