GAIL inks gas import pact with GDF Suez

State-owned gas utility GAIL India  has signed a contract with French energy giant GDF Suez to import 0.8 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2013 to 2014.

"GAIL and GDF Suez have concluded a medium-term LNG supply agreement for supply of 12 cargoes from 2013 to 2014, representing a total of 0.8 million tonnes," the two firms said in a joint press statement.

GDF would supply six cargoes of LNG in 2013 beginning January and an equal number in 2014. It will supply one cargo once in two months, most probably from its Yemen portfolio.

The price of LNG would be linked to prevailing oil rates. The LNG could be imported at either the currently operating Dahej terminal of Petronet LNG Ltd in Gujarat or the almost-complete Kochi import facility in Kerala. The gas in its liquid form (LNG) can also be shipped in cryogenic vessels to the Dabhol terminal in Maharashtra when it is commissioned.

The companies did not offer further details.

GAIL had previously roped in GDF Suez for a 3.5 million tonnes a year floating LNG import terminal it plans to set up off the east coast. The French firm would have 26 per cent stake in the project.

GDF, which holds a 10-per cent stake in Petronet LNG Ltd, had in November last year agreed to supply 9 cargoes of LNG to the nation's largest liquefied natural gas importer.

GAIL owns and operates over 9,500-km of cross country natural gas pipeline network and can handle 175 mmscmd of gas.