Hazira LNG terminal capacity will go up to 3.6m t/y

Vol 11, PW 17 (10 Jan 08) Midstream & Downstream

Despite high global spot LNG prices gas demand in India is soaring, compelling Shell and Total to start work on the expansion of their LNG terminal at Hazira in Gujarat.

Two onshore LNG storage tanks of 160,000 cubic metres capacity each allow the Hazira LNG terminal to store up to 5m t/y LNG, the same as rival Petronet-LNG at neighbouring Dahej. But the pumps and regassification facilities presently installed at Hazira allow it to handle only up to 2.4m t/y LNG at â€کpeak capacity’.

Hazira began commercial operations in April 2005, but R-LNG throughput for that year and the next was insignificant, with most domestic customers unwilling to pay the market price for spot LNG or even term LNG quoted by Shell and Total, battling against relatively cheaper long-term LNG imported by Petronet-LNG. Activity at Hazira eventually picked up last year.

“More and more customers now want R-LNG,â€‌ we hear. “A lot of demand is still there.

If you take Hazira’s base capacity of 2m t/y, there were several occasions in 2007 when the terminal operated at peak capacity (2.4m t/y) in response to rising demand.â€‌ During most of last year, Hazira operated at almost 90% â€کpeak capacity’.

Given this welcome change, says a source, Shell and Total decided last month to raise Hazira throughput to a peak of 3.6m t/y. To achieve this, additional pumps and vaporisers will be installed at Hazira.

No new tank will be constructed to handle the capacity expansion so costs won’t spiral out of control. Shell and Total, we hear, have already begun capacity expansion work.

By September this year, R-LNG customers in the power, fertiliser and steel sectors can safely assume that the Hazira LNG terminal will be able to re-gassify and pipe out 3.6m t/y R-LNG at â€کpeak capacity’.