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By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is planning to build a truck loading facility at its Hazira liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on India's west coast as it looks to meet demand from industrial users, a top company official said on Friday.
The facility, which could be ready by next year, will be used to supply industrial demand through trucking in places that can't access supply from the grid, said Steve Hill, executive vice president at Shell Energy.
"It has a big potential growth ... in India because energy supply reliability is a big issue in India," he said at a media briefing in Singapore, referring to LNG being transported in trucks to industrial users.
"There hasn't been as much supply infrastructure in place, but some of the import terminals are now putting the truck loading facilities in place so that's opening up that option."
Shell expects LNG demand to rise again in China this year as the world's second-largest importer of the super-chilled fuel extends a program to switch from coal to cleaner gas beyond the capital Beijing to large industrial cities, Hill said.
"The underlying policy that's driving this is basically community heating or small in-city industrial users switching (the) boilers from coal to gas," he said. "This is structural demand conversion."
The full effect of China's drive to switch factories and millions of homes from coal to gas to curb harmful emissions will be felt this year, he added.
India had the potential to be the next biggest growth market as it faced similar factors to China, Hill said.
"They are both countries with big populations, developing rapidly growing economies, (and) air quality challenges where gas has low penetration in the energy mix," he said.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Richard Pullin)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)