ADB selling Petronet stake to raise around $120 million

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is selling shares in gas supplier Petronet LNG Ltd to raise up to $120 million (approximately Rs720 crore), three sources with direct knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.

ADB, which owned a 5.2 per cent stake in Petronet LNG as of end-June, will sell the shares through block deals on the stock exchange, report quoting sources said.

Neither ADB, nor Petronet LNG commented on the share sale.

Petronet LNG Limited set up the country's first LNG receiving and regasification terminal at Dahej, Gujarat, and another terminal at Kochi, Kerala. While the Dahej terminal has a nominal capacity of 10 MMTPA (equivalent to 40 MMSCMD of natural gas), the Kochi terminal has a capacity of 5 MMTPA (equivalent to 20 MMSCMD of natural gas). The company is in the process of building a third terminal at Gangavaram, Andhra Pradesh.

Formed as a joint venture by the Government of India to import LNG and set up LNG terminals in the country, its promoters include GAIL (India) Limited, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). It has an authorised capital of Rs1,200 crore ($240 million).

Petronet LNG, meanwhile, said it is working on a commercial structure of its proposed Gangavaram terminal, near Visakhapatnam, on the east coast of India and expected to commence construction in about six months.

"We are working on the commercial structure including the pipeline connectivity before constructing the plant," Petronet LNG finance director R K Garg said.

The commercial structure would require at least 40 per cent of the 5 million tonne per annum (MTPA) capacity committed to the local market, or through tolling arrangement, he said.

The Infrastructure and Investment Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh has accorded permission to Gangavaram Port to set up an LNG terminal in joint venture with Petronet. The project has already received related approvals including environment clearance.