State owned GSPC Group promoted Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL) mulls liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Sikka in Jamnagar district on West Coast. The move is aimed at securing supplies for its proposed 4,000 km long cross country natural gas transmission pipeline. GSPL led consortium consisting of oil marketing companies IOC, BPCL and HPCL will have to secure 100 mmscmd of natural gas to operate proposed pipelines at full capacity.
Over Rs 1,000 crore GSPL is assessing possibility to commission 5 MMTPA (equivalent to 20 MMSCMD of natural gas) capacity, which can be doubled in coming years. Incidentally, Jamnagar district is base of country's two both private sector petroleum refineries of RIL and Essar that consumes sizable quantities of LNG for their process. Currently, RIL operates India's largest all-weather petroleum terminal at Sikka for export and import of crude and petroleum products through single point moorings under the jurisdiction of Gujarat Maritime Board.
On March 30, GSPL invited expression of interests from consultants to prepare a detailed report and examine the possibility of commissioning LNG project at Sikka.
BSE listed GSPL and partners are expected to commission Mallavaram-Bhopal-Bhilwara-Vijapur (1585 km), Mehsana-Bhatinda (1670 km) and Bhatinda-Jammu- Srinagar (740 km) pipeline projects in next three years. "GSPL is open to join hands with private players for LNG projects. We have already invited expression of interests from upcoming LNG projects for equity participation and ensure terminal capacity," said a top government of Gujarat official. He avoided commenting on proposed terminal at Sikka. "It is premature to comment on future plans for Sikka before the conducting feasibility studies," said the official. However, he did not rule out possibility of joining hands with private players including RIL and Essar.
Meanwhile, flagship Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has joined hands with diversified Adani Group to commission 5 MMTPA LNG terminal at Mundra in Kutch district. GSPC and Adani are scouting for strategic partner. They are also open for offering stake to retail investors.
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Copyright 2012 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published March 31, 2012, in The Economic Times.)