Dabhol owners angry at Petronet-LNG visit to site

Vol 8, PW 16 (03 Nov 04) Midstream & Downstream

Two companies are very upset about government plans to revive Dabhol: the plants legal owners, General Electric and Bechtel.

Our proposal to revive the entire plant has been biting dust in some corner of the finance ministry for the last 18 months, a source close to GE and Bechtel tells us. How can Petronet-LNG go and touch our property when we are not even allowed to enter the project site This is the second time in the last four years that technical consultants have visited Dabhol to examine the projects condition and viability.

In September 2003, Tractebel spent four days at the site. Its a shame that the (Indian) government doesnt want to involve us.

We are the ones who designed and constructed the entire project. Our source laughs when told that Petronet-LNG complains about lack of documentation on site.

The as built drawings and related documents of both the power plant and the LNG terminal are where they should be: with the actual contractors! he said. IDBI never cared to clear the contractors dues despite their work being certified by independent engineers Stone & Webster.

We understand Kvaerner Construction and Kvaerner Process still hold the original design documents of the LNG terminal. The procurement and engineering of the LNG terminal originated from Kvaerners nerve centre in London where designers created a virtual model using 3D software to monitor project construction.

Our source warns: It would be one of the greatest mistakes ever if (finance minister) Chidambaram sells the project in parts, he adds. The LNG facility is not designed as a stand-alone terminal and shares much equipment with the power plant.

Key to the design of the Dabhol LNG terminal is that all the heat for vaporisation of LNG must come from the power plant. This means that if you want to run the LNG terminal, the electricity must be sourced from the power plant and nowhere else.