GAIL dreams of Dabhol breakwater post-NTPC

Vol 19, PW 9 (14 Jan 16) Midstream & Downstream

Joking aside, LNG terminal and power plant operator Ratnagiri Gas says it is deadly 'serious' about trying - for the fourth time (!) - to construct a breakwater for its 5m t/y receiving terminal at Dabhol in Maharashtra.

“Tender documents are under preparation,” confirms a senior GAIL source. “By end-April or early May we're hoping to start the process.

” He adds tenders will be awarded after the monsoon in September so work can begin immediately. Dabhol is the only one of four operating LNG terminals in India that operates without a breakwater, which allows LNG tankers to berth 365 days a year, even during heavy monsoon rains and rough seas.

But before that Ratnagiri must complete a demerger that will see reluctant partner NTPC break away, leaving only GAIL. This process began last year (2015) and is scheduled to close by March 31, 2016.

“Work in parallel is going on the demerger and the breakwater,” adds GAIL. “NTPC was not interested in the breakwater or in the high ($90m) cost of dredging the (8-km) shipping channel.

” Essar, surprisingly, remains interested in the job, despite the bad experience it had in March 2014 when it won a reverse auction against AFCONS but walked away after Ratnagiri delayed and eventually abandoned the award. “Any business is good business,” Essar tells us.

“But first let’s see the terms and conditions.”