• GAIL India to invest Rs 1,000 crore to help Dabhol LNG terminal operate all year

    GAIL India will invest.Rs 1,000 crore on the liquified natural gas terminal at the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private (RGPPL) to make it an ‘all-weather’ port by 2019, said BC Tripathi, chairman, GAIL.

    RGPPL, the second avatar of the troubled Dabhol power project, is in the process of demerging the power plant and the LNG terminal to make the project financially more viable as the project continues to struggle to keep afloat even after a decade since banks and public sector units stepped in to revive it.

    “We will hold over 70% in the demerged LNG terminal and our aim would be to convert it into an all-weather port so that we can run it at full capacity,” Tripathi said.

    After the original promoter of the project Enron declared bankruptcy in 2001, it was taken over for revival by RGPPL, backed by the government, in 2005. GAIL and NTPC are the biggest shareholders with 25.1% each, while the government of Maharashtra owns 13.51% and lenders have a 35.47% stake.

    Post the demerger, GAIL would be a majority stakeholder in the LNG terminal, while NTPC would lead the power project that would run a 500 mw unit. “We hope to give the contract for the breakwater project and expect it to be operational by monsoon in 2019,” said Tripathi.

    A breakwater is an offshore structure built to break the intensity of the waves so that the terminal can work all year. Right now, this terminal cannot operate for almost five months between June and September since the choppy sea poses risks to the ships. The company had hoped to award the project by October last year but it has been delayed.

    The demerger of the power plant and the LNG regasification unit has been delayed since lenders such as Power Finance Corp and LIC had put forth conditions.

    The power plant is in pact to supply 500 mw to the Indian Railways. Ryan Shazier Jersey

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