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Hiranandani in race for Bangladesh's first LNG terminal

Would make it India's first private sector company to build a LPG terminal outside the country

Shine Jacob  |  New Delhi 

If works out, it may well turn out to be one of the first case in which an Indian private company will build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal outside the country. To add to the list firsts and making it strategically important for India, it would be the maiden floating LNG terminal in the neighbouring country of Bangladesh.

Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group is in race for getting a contract to build Bangladesh's 5 million tonne (MT) LNG terminal at Moheshkhali island in Bay of Bengal. According to Bangladesh state-run energy major PetroBangla annual report, the floating storage and re-gassification unit (FRSU) will have a re-gassification capacity of 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd).

Confirming the development, Darshan Hiranandani, director of Hindustan Electricity Generation, a group company said, “We were informed a few months ago that we are shortlisted to build the terminal. As per our information, the other firms were global players like Golar LNG Energy, Astra Oil and Excelerate Energy, Samsung C&T Corporation.” He added that the company is yet to hear back from the Bangladesh government on this.

Bangladesh, which is facing a shortage of 500 mmcfd gas per day, is also planning to come up with a 115-kilo metre pipeline starting from Moheshkhali to Ring-Main in order to feed the clients in Chittagong area. “This project is very important for the Bangladesh economy and wants to implement it sooner. After each passing year, the demand for petroleum and natural gas is increasing in our country and we don’t have a terminal now,” Bangladesh commerce minister Ghulam Muhammed Quader told Business Standard.

On the other hand, if Hiranandani gets the contract, it is likely to be a severe jolt to West Bengal, where the group was planning to come up with a 4 million tonne liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Haldia in West Bengal, with an investment of about Rs 3,000 crore. “Both the projects are not yet finalized. One is in the bidding stage and the other one is going through the initial monitoring stage,” Hiranandani added.

Planning to set up a terminal in the Eastern coast, the group is eyeing the market in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and North Orissa. However, according to experts, it is unlikely that the same firm will come out with two terminals in the Eastern coast. However, if it wins the Bangladesh project, it would give India  a strategic advantage over China in the Indian Ocean.
The group is already coming up with an 8-million tonne terminal at the Dighi port in Maharashtra for captive use at its upcoming power plants and to cater to consumers in the power and fertiliser industry.

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First Published: Sun, February 03 2013. 15:44 IST