Modi makes Pandian chairman of GSPC LNG

Vol 15, PW 26 (12 Jul 12) People & Policy

Gujarat authorities have tightened their grip on a proposed 5m t/y LNG terminal at Mundra promoted by GSPC and the Gautam Adani-owned Adani Group.

As state elections loom, Gujarat energy secretary DJ Pandian has been appointed Executive Chairman and Managing Director of GSPC LNG, a Special Purpose Vehicle set up to construct the terminal. Pandian’s appointment was cleared at a GSPC LNG board meeting on June 12 in Gandhinagar.

“It was the Gujarat government’s idea (Read: ‘It was chief minister Narendra Modi’s idea’),” says Pandian. “Long-term it is in stakeholders’ interest.

If the oil secretary (in Delhi) can be chairman of Petronet-LNG (a private company, but in reality a state-owned behemoth) then can’t I be GSPC LNG chairman” In his new role Pandian will umpire lingering disputes between JV partners. “GSPC and Adani have been in dialogue for many months,” he adds.

“But talks aren’t going anywhere.” Pandian’s first priority is to select a Project Management Consultant (PMC) by July 31, after he returns from a 10-day tour of the US on July 18.

“We received a good response to the advert,” he says. GSPC LNG sold bid documents between February 27 and March 21 but extended the bid deadline from April 9 to May 15 so companies from the US and Europe on holiday over Easter could bid.

State-owned Engineers India, Tractebel, Foster Wheeler, and Whessoe Oil & Gas are among the favourites to win. EPC tenders to construct the terminal should be published by end-2012.

Analysts say chief minister Narendra Modi will miss no opportunity to boast about progress at Mundra ahead of state elections.

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