• Petronet in talks with IGL, GSPC to set-up LNG pumps on Delhi-Mumbai highway

    Petronet LNG, India’s largest natural gas importer is in talks with Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) to jointly set-up liquefied natural gas (LNG) pumps in six locations on the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Prabhat Singh, chief executive officer (CEO) at Petronet told media on the sidelines of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) summit in New Delhi on Friday.

    “We are initially looking at starting this in six locations three each with IGL and GSPC. Once everything is frozen we will float tenders inviting dealerships for setting up LNG retail outlets in these locations. The first outlet should be ready within 10 months from the date of floating the tender. We should be able to float these tenders in 2-3 months,” Singh said.

    In order to increase the use of natural gas in the mobility sector, the company has been trying to push for introducing LNG in the heavy vehicle category. The company had originally planned to set-up LNG pumps across the Delhi to Trivandrum highway, however, after further evaluation it decided to first focus on the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.

    While replying to a question on whether fleet owners and manufactures are on board for using LNG as a fuel and manufacturing special LNG vehicles, Singh added, “Stakeholders are warming up to the idea and business opportunity it presents, once the pilot starts this new model will get the push it needs. We have already placed orders for four LNG buses from the Tatas’ which we will use in our Dahej facility.”

    Singh had earlier told ETEnergyWorld that the company had also requested the petroleum ministry to ask finance ministry for exempting custom duty on LNG trucks.

    Talking about Petronet’s overseas ventures, Singh said that discussions for setting up a floating LNG terminal for Sri Lanka has shown progress.

    “Talks have picked up pace with Sri Lanka for the proposed floating LNG terminal, they have formed a committee post the Cabinet approval, we have given them the commercial contracts and we are expected to begin negotiating on the terms now. Sri Lanka Port Authority will be the fourth partner in the project,” Singh said.

    He added that sourcing LNG for the terminal will be based on economics and can be sourced from Ennore or Kochi or a cheaper alternative.

    Petronet along with Japan’s Mitsubishi, Sojitz Corp and Sri Lanka Port Authority plan to set-up a 2.6-2.7 million tonne floating LNG terminal near Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    The company had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bangladesh’s national oil company Petrobangla to set up a 7.5 million tonne LNG terminal on the Kutubdia island back in December 2016.

    However, according to Singh, a new site has now been identified for the proposed terminal.

    “Bangladesh, due to defence reasons, cancelled the earlier identified site of Kutubdia island and now have zeroed in on Maheshkhali for the terminal. As it is a new site the tender process has started from the beginning and we have submitted our bid,” Singh said.

    According to Petrobangla’s 2017 annual report the project is expected to be commissioned by December 2021.

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