Tuesday, 20 August 2013

First vessel carrying LNG berthed at Kochi LNG Terminal

The first container carrying Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), MV Will Energy, has called on the Puthuvypu LNG terminal,kochi,kerala. The vessel, 'Wilenergy', carrying 1.23 lakh cubic meter of LNG was berthed at the terminal , bringing the commissioning of the  project closer to reality.

Gas will start flowing into the storage tanks in the next couple of hours after the temperatures in them are brought down to about minus 163 degree centigrade. The terminal will start distributing gas by next Monday, and if possible earlier, said Petronet LNG Ltd chairman and MD A K Balyan at a news conference.

After Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat and Dhabol in Maharashtra, this will be the fourth LNG terminal in the country.

The commissioning of the terminal is expected to usher in a paradigm shift in the fuel consumption scenario in the state as it would enable the power generation, industry and transport sectors to migrate to LNG, which is a greener and more efficient than conventional fuels like petrol, diesel and naphtha. LNG can also be used by domestic customers when supplied in the form of piped natural gas (PNG).

Balyan said the landing price of LNG would be $14.5 per MMBTU (million metric British thermal unit) and the customers have to pay taxes like VAT, transportation charges and customs duty. The fall in rupee will have a bearing on the price calculations, he conceded.

Commissioning of terminal would mean windfall for Kerala financially also as it can levy around 12% VAT on the LNG sold. The state could get as high as Rs 500 crore per year when the plant functions in full capacity.

The terminal will be operating at about 8% of the total five million tonnes per year capacity initially, as only two customers BPCL Kochi Refinery and FACT have been readied to operate on LNG, said Petronet director (technical) Rajender Singh. They said the LNG shipped now would be sufficient to operate the terminal for about three months.

Balyan said Petronet was ready to cooperate in KSRTC's plans to migrate to compressed natural gas (CNG) and also the plans to provide PNG in certain cities in the state. Petronet is also awaiting response from the state government on the proposal to set up LNG-based 1,200-mw power plant at Puthuvype. Petronet president (technical) Man Mohan Ahuja said the terminal would not have any polluting emissions and would not use any of the natural resources, including seawater, in the area for its operations.

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