KOCHI: The Petronet LNG Terminal (PLL) at nearby Puthu Vypeen is likely to be commissioned by November-December this year, a top company official has said.
“Completion of the Kochi LNG terminal is on track and satisfactory. We hope by November-December we should be looking at commissioning of the terminal. Very elaborate safety requirements have to be taken,” PLL Managing Director A K Balyan told reporters here on the sidelines of a function here last night.
Petronet had earlier said the terminal would be ready by July, 2012 and would become operational by October this year.
On the delay in commissioning,he said they had started the terminal with 2.5 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMPTA) apacity and midway it was decided to raise it by another 2.5 MMTPA. “There are very strict safety requirements and both have to be commissioned simultaneously,” he said.
Petronet proposes to source LNG under a long-term contract from Gorgan in Australia by 2015 for its plant here. About 1.5 million tonnes would be purchased from Gorgan and sold to GAIL, BPCL and IOC. There will also be a short-term arrangement besides this.
“PLL is also in discussion with Gasprom of Russia. We are in advanced discussions with Qatar and are also looking at US market and Angola for sourcing of gas,” he said.
On pipeline connectivity, he said GAIL, which was laying the pipelines, has to expedite the second phase. By December the pipelines are expected to be ready.
On the proposed 1,200-mw gas-based power plant which PLL was planning to set up in joint venture partnership with the Kerala government, Balyan said PLL had informed the government that the project was very much feasible and that a power plant integrated with LNG terminal would be more efficient.
He said PLL had suggested two things to the government — appropriate amount of land adjacent to the terminal has to be allocated and state must purchase power. The proposal is to have 50:50 joint venture company with a gestation of 38-40 months and the project cost is estimated to be Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000 crore.
The government has agreed in principle to both the suggestions, he said adding about 50 hectares had been identified.
The land will be the equity contribution of the state government. Kerala State Electricity board (KSEB) had been identified as the nodal agency and the two partners would enter into second round of discussions next month, he said.
LNG was a costly fuel, but there were advantages like since there was no gas sale, customers need not pay VAT, no gas transportation costs and there would be at least 20 per cent higher efficiency and it can compete with imported coal, he said.
As part of PLL’s Corporate Social Responsibility, the company handed over Rs 22 lakh cheque to the Ernakulam district collector Shekeh Pareeth.