Petronet LNG, India’s largest importer of LNG, is preparing to announce the winner of the tendering process for the construction of the seventh LNG storage tank at its Dahej import terminal in the northwestern state of Gujarat.
Dahej is already in the midst of an expansion project that will boost the facility’s LNG throughput capacity from the current 15M tonnes per annum (mta) to 17.5 mta by June 2019. State-run Petronet has also commissioned a feasibility study on the provision of a third marine jetty at the terminal.
Dahej is not only the largest but also the oldest of India’s four LNG receiving terminals. The facility was commissioned in February 2004, with an initial capacity of 5 mta, Qatar signed up to supply the full amount under a long-term contract and plans in hand to immediately set about doubling the terminal’s regasification capability.
The current complement of Dahej storage tanks comprises four units of 148,000 m3 each and two of 170,000 m3. All six tanks were built by IHI and the Japanese engineering company is a leading contender to win the bidding for the seventh unit.
Petronet states that the availability of another tank will facilitate the scheduling of cargo discharges at a terminal currently operating well above nameplate capacity. The facility’s average utilisation rate of around 110% over the past year is evidenced by the fact that Dahej received 16.03M tonnes of LNG in fiscal year 2017/18, a 20% year-on-year jump.
Petronet also operates the 5 mta Kochi facility, the last of India’s four LNG import terminals to enter service. All four facilities are located on the country’s west coast.
Utilisation rates at Kochi have been poor, not rising above 14%, since the regasification terminal opened for business in August 2013. LNG throughputs have been hindered by delays in constructing pipeline connections with principal customers. Major sections of a 450 km pipeline from the terminal to the Mangalore region will be completed early in 2019, a development which will spur increased Kochi imports.
Petronet is also promoting LNG projects outside India. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Mauritius have been identified as locations for possible LNG receiving terminals and the plans for an involvement in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are the furthest advanced.
For Bangladesh, Petronet has proposed a US$950M, 7.5 mta land-based import terminal on Kutubdia Island, about halfway between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar. A new 26 km pipeline would link the terminal with the national grid, and the planned scheme is well advanced in the permitting processes of Petrobangla, the nation’s state-owned energy company.
For Sri Lanka, Petronet has put forward a US$300M, 2.5-3 mta terminal solution for the port of Colombo, based on the use of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). The scheme tabled by Petronet, which is competing with two similar proposals, is a consortium approach, also involving Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp and Sojitz Corp as well as the Sri Lankan government.