Public sector pipeline gas utility GAIL India Ltd wants an independent chairman to be appointed to head India's biggest liquefied natural gas importer Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) once petroleum secretary M S Srinivasan retires at the end of this month.
GAIL is one of the four equal promoters of Petronet, along with Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Oil and Natural Gas Corp.
The four public sector companies own a 12.5-per cent stake each in Petronet, of which the petroleum secretary has held the chairmanship as an additional charge, since its inception in 1998.
In a letter to Srinivasan, U D Choubey, chairman and managing director, GAIL, has sought the nomination of one of the chairman of the four promoter PSUs as the head of Petronet, while a new chairman for the company is selected by a search committee.
He said that at the initial formative stage, it was a necessity to request the secretary to also hold charge as chairman of the PLL board in order to successfully operationalise PLL.
Choubey also pointed out that an article has now been incorporated in the joint venture agreement for the seclection of the chairman through a search committee after the secretary relinquished the office of the chairman the GAIL CMD wrote.
Choubey has said that after Srinivasan's retirement, one of the four PSU chairmen be appointed to head Petronet, till the search committee is formed and selects an independent chairman.
Choubey's letter comes just before the government named R S Pandey as the new petroleum secretary, to take over from Srinivasan on 1 August.
Petronet owns a 5 million tons LNG import terminal at Dahej in Gujarat and is building a 2.5 million tons capacity facility at Kochi in Kerala. While it is doubling Dahej capacity, Petronet is in talks with LNG producers including ExxonMobil for tying up new supplies.