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BG eyeing stake in one of the 3 LNG terminals in west coast

Talks with 'certain parties' are at preliminary stage and nothing has been finalised so far

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

BG Group, the UK's third-largest natural-gas producer, is eyeing a stake in one of the three upcoming liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals on the west coast as it looks to sell more LNG in the energy deficient nation.

BG India, the British energy giant's local unit, wants to pick a stake in either of the LNG import facilities planned at Mundra in Gujarat or one near Mumbai, or alternatively book capacities in existing terminals at Dahej, Hazira (both in Gujarat) and Dabhol in Maharashtra.

"We are looking at regassification positions either in terms equity or capacity reservations in LNG terminals," BG India President & Managing Director Shaleen Sharma said here.

He, however, said talks with "certain parties" are at preliminary stage and nothing has been finalised so far.

Petronet LNG is expanding its Dahej terminal from 10 million tonne a year to 15 million tonne and is open to leasing out a part of the incremental capacity to gas importers. State-owned GAIL, which is also a promoter of Petronet, has booked some capacity out of the 5 million tonne planned.

Similarly, Royal Dutch Shell and Total SA of France are expanding their Hazira terminal to 5 million tonne from current 3.6 million tonne.

GAIL is in the process of commissioning a 5 million tonne facility at Dabhol while Adani Group has proposed to build a new terminal at Mundra in Gujarat. Real estate player Hiranandani is looking at possibility of building a facility on the Maharashtra coast and Swan Energy too may be looking at a floating terminal at Pipavav in Gujarat.

Also, the Reliance Industries-BP joint venture is speculated to be looking at setting up a plant either at Jamnagar in Gujarat or Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

Sharma said BG India was interested in hiring capacities at Dahej or Hazira terminals as well as picking equity in one of the upcoming facilities.

India's natural gas production of about 143 million cubic meters per day (mmcmd) is short of demand of 194 mmcmd this fiscal. The demand is projected to rise to 466 mmcmd by FY17, according to 12th Five Year Plan projections.

"We want access to [import] terminal to expand our LNG business in India," Sharma said adding the company supplied as many as 35 cargoes or ship loads of natural gas in its liquid form (LNG) to India during last two-and-half years.

It is close to finalising a deal to sell 2.5 million tonne a year of LNG to Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) for 20 years, he said while indicating BG may also be in talks with other firms including Petronet and GAIL for selling LNG on short and long term contracts.

BG India, he said, was interested only in terminals on the west coast as consumption centres are connected by pipeline networks.

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First Published: Sun, September 23 2012. 12:54 IST