'Green' lobby blocks three LNG projects

Vol 17, PW 8 (14 Nov 13) Midstream & Downstream

Three proposed LNG projects have hit a massive stumbling block: the environment ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has denied clearance to LNG projects proposed by Petronet-LNG, GSPC and IndianOil at meetings in Delhi on October 28, 29 and 30.

For IOC’s 5m t/y Ennore LNG project in Tamil Nadu, the EAC said the Environmental Impact Assessment report prepared by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has not “addressed the construction of the LNG berth and its likely impact.” Further, the EAC wants precautionary measures “to prevent leakage of LNG” due to natural calamities.

More, the EAC wants a disaster management plan and oil contingency management plan in place. IOC was asked to sort out these problems and re-submit its proposal.

For GSPC and Adani’s 5m t/y Mundra LNG project, the environment ministry informed the EAC it is “examining follow up action on significant issues” raised in the ‘Sunita Narain Committee’ report into environment violations by Adani-operated Mundra port. So the EAC postponed a decision till a report is received from the ministry.

For Petronet-LNG’s 10m t/y Gangavaram LNG project in Andhra Pradesh, pollution was a major concern raised during the January 1 public hearing. "Most of those raising objections during the public hearings are just looking for money," claims a source.

"A private promoter can pay people but how can (state-backed) Petronet-LNG or IOC make such payments”