Talks to pick up stake in Qatar’s upstream sector have slowed down: Prabhat Singh, Petronet LNG
He also talked about Petronet’s plans to float tenders for 27 LNG stations New Delhi: Petronet LNG’s talks with Qatar on picking up stake in the country’s upstream sector have slowed down, Prabhat Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Petronet told media today at the sidelines of India Energy Forum. He also talked about Petronet’s plans to float tenders for 27 LNG stations. Edited excerpts.. The company had in a consortium planned to invest in Qatar’s upstream sector, are the plans still on? There are some discussions still going on. We wanted to get the molecule at the well-head price while they want it at the market price. They are looking at a much larger plan.. so we need to create a market link with India. I think all the Indian companies together must make a case for it. We are still at the phase where we have access to the data and we have analysed it. Nothing substantial has progressed apart from that. It is still under consideration. We have not written it off. Nothing substantial is happening as of now. It is a patience game. The point is, anything near the boundary of India is a good case to look into. The actual investment amount as of now is not clear. What has been the progress on the company’s plans to set-up LNG fuel stations? We have identified some 27 locations on the 4,000 Km highway and applications have been sent to PESO for clearances and this is all being done in association with the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) because their outlets will be the locations. We are going to float the tender to set up these LNG stations soon. We have reached a point where only the tender needs to be floated. The first segment will be between Delhi and Mumbai where we have identified five locations on the route clearly. If there is a requirement to split up the tenders, we will do that. Tata Motors has already made four LNG buses for us. Type approval is pending and they are being tested right now. They are supposed to be delivered between October and December this year. Activity in the LNG fuel retail sector is picking up. The Hiranandani group is doing something. GAIL has certain plans. Petronet’s core work is increasing the use of LNG in various segments. Slowly OMCs are also picking up interest. H-Energy plans to set-up a LNG station in October next year. Will Petronet have its LNG stations before that? Are you working on any timeline? We will have a LNG retail outlet before H-Energy. It takes around 8-10 months for things to happen on ground. The tender should be awarded within 1-2 months from the date of floating the tender. Could you give an update on the upcoming Bangladesh LNG terminal ? The Bangaladesh LNG (project) is a bit slow as the country has gone in an election mode, we have submitted all the necessary documents for the project, an internal meeting at their end is pending. We have identified the Kutubdia island for the LNG project but other locations like Maheshkhali are also being considered. What is the status of the plans for setting up LNG terminal in Sri Lanka? The Sri Lanka LNG project is moving significantly faster than the Bangladesh LNG project. We have submitted all the commercial details. I cannot commit on any timelines. However, we will be able to give some more details after one more quarter. The company was also looking at setting-up a LNG terminal in Andaman. What is the update? There is some progress on that front. Andaman will soon sign a PPA with NTPC and after that things will kick-off. The capacity of the LNG terminal is around 150 thousand tonnes.