Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) will commission a 5 million tonnes a year liquid gas (LNG) import terminal at Mundra in Gujarat in next two to three months, its Managing Director Jagdip Narayan Singh said.
Mundra will be the third import terminal in Gujarat to import super-cooled natural gas (liquefied natural gas or LNG) in cryogenic ships and then re-converting the liquid fuel into its gaseous state before transporting it by pipelines to customers.
GSPL LNG Ltd, a GSPC group firm which is implementing the project in partnership with Adani Group, will look at inducting a strategic partner like Indian Oil Corp (IOC) once the terminal is fully operational, he told PTI here.
"We will commission Mundra terminal by August-end or mid-September. It will operate at 1.5 million tonnes a year capacity for first one and a half years before scaling up to full capacity," Singh, who is also the Chief Secretary of the state, said.
The Mundra terminal, whose capacity will be expandable to 10 million tonnes per annum in future, is designed to have a berth for receiving LNG tankers of sizes 75,000 cubic metres to 2,60,000 cubic metres, two LNG storage tanks of capacity 1,60,000 cubic metres each, facilities for regasification and gas evacuation.
Besides, Dahej and Hazira, India currently has two more LNG terminals - Dabhol in Maharashtra and Kochi in Kerala, both with 5 million tonnes a year capacity. More import terminals are planned on the east coast as well as on the west to meet the fast growing energy needs of the country.
Singh said the Gujarat state government owned company has decided to commission the import terminal first and then look at a strategic partner.
"We have been in talks with IOC but as partnership was delayed we have now decided to first commission the terminal and then see who can we get as a partner," he said.
IOC had in August last year stated that it will acquire up to a 50 per cent stake in the Adani Group-backed Mundra LNG import terminal in Gujarat for an estimated Rs 750 crore.
The board of India's largest oil firm gave "in-principle approval for acquiring up to 50 per cent equity in GSPL LNG Ltd, which is setting up a 5 million tons per annum LNG terminal at Mundra Port in Gujarat, the company had said in a statement.
GSPL LNG is a joint venture of Gujarat State Petroleum Corp and Adani Enterprises. GSPL LNG will hold the remaining 50 per cent stake in the LNG terminal. Adani and GSPC are equal partners in GSPL LNG.
While the company had not given the acquisition cost, an official said roughly 30% of the Rs 5,040 crore project cost is equity and IOC would pay half of it.
"Once the project is complete, we can command a premium," Singh said.
He said Mundra will be connected to Gujarat State Petronet Ltd's (GSPL) existing pipelines network at Anjaar, Gujarat.
When GSPL LNG put up on offer stake in the Mundra LNG project four years back, eight firms including GAIL had expressed interest in buying the stake but only three were shortlisted. Besides IOC, India Gas Solutions, the equal joint venture between the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and Europe's second-largest oil firm BP, and state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were shortlisted.
Singh indicated that the company may run a new process to select a strategic partner. "Once the terminal is complete we can start looking at who can come in... lets see its too early to say," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)