Petronet buys stake in ship consortium

Petronet buys stake in ship consortium

The country’s largest liquid natural gas importer, Petronet LNG, has bought a 26 per cent stake in a shipping consortium that has built its biggest vessel to transport gas from Australia for about Rs 100 crore.

“We have now decided to take 26 per cent equity in India LNG Transport Company (No 4) Private Limited,” Petronet director (finance) R.K. Garg said here.

Petronet in 2013 had contracted Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and its Japanese partners to build and operate an LNG vessel with capacity of 173,000 cubic meters.

The vessel, “Prachi”, was delivered in December. After trials, the ship delivered the first cargo from the Gorgon project in Australia to Petronet’s Dahej terminal in Gujarat.

Singapore-based India LNG Transport had won the contract from Petronet to build Prachi at Hyundai’s shipyard in Korea.

Garg said agreements for Petronet taking the equity have been executed and the consideration paid. “It (the money paid) is less than Rs 100 crore.”

After the stake purchase, state-owned SCI now holds 26 per cent in India LNG Transport, NYK Line of Japan holds 26 per cent, other Japanese investors hold 22 per cent and Petronet, 26 per cent.

Prachi is the fourth vessel hired by Petronet. The earlier three are all deployed for bringing LNG from Qatar.

The SCI consortium had won the tender from Petronet to bring gas from Australia by quoting a rate of $78,000 per day for 19 years. The consortium had also built the other three vessels for Petronet – all for gas from Qatar.

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