Petronet announces plans to expand Dahej gas terminal

Petronet LNG Ltd, India's biggest gas importer, plans to expand the capacity of its Dahej terminal in Gujarat to 17.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa), its Petronet managing director A.K. Balyan said today.

The company aims to complete an ongoing expansion of the terminal to 15 mtpa from 10 mtpa by end-2016, he said, adding that its existing promoters and refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp are interested in booking the capacities in the additional 2.5 mtpa.

"We hope to complete the in house study on expansion by March ... we would like to raise it to 17.5 mtpa probably along with the existing expansion," said Rajender Singh, the company's technical head.

Demand for LNG in Gujarat, which has a well laid out pipeline network, is so robust that Petronet has already leased out almost half of Dahej's capacity to state companies from 2017.

State-run firms GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Oil and Natural Gas Corp own a 12.5 per cent stake each in Petronet LNG.

It has a long-term gas purchase agreement with Qatar to buy 7.5 mtpa of the super cooled gas at Dahej terminal.

Petronet is operating its 5 mtpa Kochi terminal in southern India at a fraction of its capacity, and to boost operations in the absence of adequate pipeline network it has began supplying the super cooled fuel in trucks to customers, Balyan said.

The company is in talks with several international companies to lease its storage at Kochi terminal to recover some of its investment, Balyan said, adding BG Group Plc has stored a cargo of LNG in one of its tanks.