News Column

GAIL to stepup gas imports

June 10, 2014

THE public sector gas company, GAIL India Ltd, plans to import 36 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes during the current financial year to meet the acute shortage of gas in the country in 2014-15. The company had imported 26 cargoes in 2013-14.

According to GAIL chairman B. C. Tripathi, while 18 of these shiploads will be from medium-term supplies that have been contracted, the rest will be picked up from the spot market.

GAIL plans to charter 6-8 LNG carriers for shipping gas from the US to India, Tripathi added. GAIL operates a 5 mtpa Dabhol LNG terminal on the west coast and partners the Andhra Pradesh government for a planned regasification facility on the east coast.

Tripathi said Royal Dutch Shell is in talks with the Andhra Pradesh government to buy up to 24 per cent stake in the Kakinada LNG project on the east coast. The Dabhol terminal has been shut since May 1 and will resume normal operations at the end of September or early October, Tripathi said.

GAIL aims to sign more deals with the United States for sourcing LNG as it hopes to lock-in customers for existing contracts by the end of July, company officials informed.

GAIL has a deal to buy 3.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG for 20 years from the US-based Cheniere Energy and has also booked capacity for another 2.3 mtpa at Dominion Energy'sCove Point liquefaction plant.

The company is in talks with Indian customers, except those from the regulated power and fertiliser sectors, for gas sales agreements ahead of supplies from the US in 2017-18.

"Sometime by the end of July we hope to sign deals for 3.5-4 mtpa of US LNG volumes... We are selling largely to city gas distribution companies, steel, textile and ceramics as well as refineries," the Chairman said.

GAIL aims to trade one mtpa of the super-cooled gas sourced from the United States through its trading arm in Singapore. For future deals with the US, Gail plans to strike back-to-back agreements with buyers and sellers instead of first striking deals and then looking for customers.

With such a roadmap ahead, Tripathi also declare that GAIL's turnover went up by 17 per cent to ` 14,464 crore. Net profit for the 2013-14 fiscal was up nine per cent at ` 4,375 crore, while turnover rose 21 per cent to ` 57,245 crore. In the full fiscal, GAIL contributed ` 1,900 crore as its share of the burden of the government's subsidy bill on LPG, kerosene and diesel.

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Source: Mail Today (India)

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