Plans to construct a fifth LNG storage tank at Dahej

Vol 10, PW 6 (13 Jul 06) Midstream & Downstream

Regular imports of spot LNG cargoes have forced Petronet-LNG to consider expanding the Dahej receiving terminal even further.

The two Idku LNG spot cargoes or the eight cargoes expected from August to March next year are not isolated deals and to accommodate this increase in supplies Petronet-LNG plans to construct one more onshore LNG storage tank to add to the four that Dahej will have when the ongoing capacity doubling to 10m t/y is completed. This fifth tank, we hear, will be the same size (148,000 cubic metres) as each of the other four.

Petronet-LNG management considered having the fifth tank larger in size than the others but the result wouldnt look nice, we are told. Technical considerations also ruled out a larger tank because all the tanks will be connected to each other through pipes.

If one tank is heavier than the others it could invite the risk of sinking and dragging down the others with the force of gravity. Petronet-LNG plans to ask Gujarat authorities for an additional seven hectares of land adjoining the Dahej terminal to fit in the fifth tank.

Petronet-LNG directors will approve the fifth tank proposal during a board meeting on 28th July. Once the board approves the proposal the contract will, most likely, be awarded without tender to the IHI-led consortium, which is putting up the third and fourth tanks to double capacity at Dahej.

IHI is already mobilised at site, we hear. Petronet-LNG can negotiate with them and perhaps get a better price for one more tank than through a tender.

Petronet-LNG wants the fifth tank completed at the same time as the third and fourth, both of which are expected to be ready by 2009. At Dahej meanwhile, expansion work has begun.

Piling work for the foundations of the third and fourth tanks began on 15th May. Thirty piles have been completed, we hear.

A total 1100 piles will be needed for the two tanks. All the piles will be ready by December 2006.

Construction of the extra regassification facilities begin later as these can be completed in 24 months unlike the tanks, which need about 36 months to construct.