NewIndian Exp LNG Terminal to be Irrelevant By Pramod Thomas KOCHI:

NewIndian Exp LNG Terminal to be Irrelevant By Pramod Thomas KOCHI: 

 When commissioned in August 2013, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal of Petronet LNG was the only such facility in South India.

But now, south India is all set to have three more LNG terminals while, unfortunately, the terminal in Kochi is slowly moving into oblivion. 

The new terminals will be set up at Ennore in Tamil Nadu by Indian Oil Corporation; Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh by GAIL India and Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh by Petronet LNG. All the three terminals will be ready in a few years.

Though the new LNG terminals will be a boon to the south Indian states, there is a devil in the details. While Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh can be connected easily to the National Natural Gas Network, Kerala is unlikely to get linked to the national grid owing to the ongoing protest in the State against pipeline-laying.

“It is a very precarious situation as the Central Government has been making serious efforts to switch over the chemical and fertiliser industries to Natural Gas. When the LNG terminal project was envisaged in Kochi, the project was of national importance. Now, considering the potential of the sector in South India, many entities, including GAIL and IOC, are entering the business. If Kerala is left out of the National Natural Gas Network, companies like FACT, BPCL and NTPC will not get gas produced indigenously at low prices,” said Centre for Green Technology and Management director M P Sukumaran Nair.

He said the State was likely to miss the benefits of the green fuel as the other states were moving fast in terms of securing their pie in the LNG sector.

India currently has four LNG import terminals, all on the West Coast – Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat; Dabhol in Maharashtra and Kochi in Kerala.

Recently, the IOC awarded contract to build two large LNG storage tanks, at its upcoming Ennore LNG import terminal in Tamil Nadu, to Japan-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI).

Construction of the Rs 4,500-crore LNG terminal at Puthuvype in Kochi started in 2007, and was completed in six years.

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