Petronet LNG may look at constructing a fourth liquefied natural gas import facility in India as demand grows.

“We believe gas demand will continue to grow and we will need avenues to meet such requirement,” chief executive AK Singh told the Press Trust of India.

“We could possibly look at setting up a fourth LNG import and regasification terminal... these are preliminary thoughts, and we will come back to you once plans are firmed up.”

The company operates the 17.5 million tonnes per annum Dahej receiving and regasification terminal, in the north-west state of Gujarat, which is undergoing expansion to a capacity of 22.5 million tonnes per annum, and the 5 million tpa Kochi import facility in Kerala, in the south-west. Both are land-based terminals.

Adding the planned 5 million tpa of extra capacity at Dahej — already the world’s largest import facility — involves construction of a new jetty that is also able to handle propane and ethane shipments, plus more LNG storage tanks and bays for loading trucks.

The company’s third LNG import terminal is a planned floating storage and regasification unit-based facility at Gopalpur in Odisha state in eastern India, expected to enter operation within three years.

Upstream reported on 6 September 2021 that Petronet LNG had signed a memorandum of understanding with Gopalpur Ports and was looking to finalise details of the commercial and technical terms of this agreement before taking the final investment decision.

Gopalpur is envisaged as an initial 4 million tpa FSRU that could later be replaced by a 5 million tpa onshore terminal.

Petronet LNG’s touted locations for a fourth import facility include Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh in eastern India, and the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are closer to the coasts of Myanmar and Thailand than to the Indian mainland.

India’s demand will have to increase to more than 500 million cubic metres per day from the current 165 MMcmd if the government is to meet its goal of boosting the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix to 15% by 2030.

Domestic production today accounts for around half of consumption, pointing to higher LNG imports.

The nation already has other LNG import facilities — not operated by Petronet LNG — at Hazira, Dabhol, Mundra and Ennore.

In March, India’s biggest gas importer incorporated a new wholly owned subsidiary called Petronet LNG Singapore.

The subsidiary is intended to conduct a range of activities in Singapore, including buying LNG on long-term, spot and short-term contracts; the sale and trading of LNG to Indian and foreign companies; the optimisation and diversion of volumes in Petronet LNG’s portfolio; and investments in overseas ventures.

India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Gail and Bharat Petroleum Corporation hold a combined 50% interest in Petronet LNG, with the remaining 50% publicly held.

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