Modi wants to select Mundra LNG partner

Vol 16, PW 25 (11 Jul 13) Midstream & Downstream

Narendra Modi is determined to personally approve the third strategic partner for a proposed 5m t/y LNG terminal at Mundra on the Gujarat coast, according to sources close to the Gujarat chief minister.

SBI Caps is preparing a presentation for Modi at his North Block office in Gandhinagar that will identify six shortlisted candidates. No fixed date has been set for the presentation, but it will most likely be in September, says a source.

"Modi personally asked for this presentation," he adds. "This is an extremely important project for Gujarat.

" Several international players figure among companies who submitted EoIs for a 25% in the Mundra LNG terminal: Reliance with BP; ONGC; Gazprom; GAIL; Petronet-LNG; BG; ConocoPhillips; IndianOil; Torrent, and Japan’s Itochu, Mitsui and Toyota Tsusho. GSPC already holds 50% alongside Adani, which holds 25%.

In Gandhinagar, Gujarat energy secretary DJ Pandian has made it crystal clear the strategic partner should not only take 25% but also ensure long-term supplies. Pandian heard a SBI Caps presentation in June about companies interested in a Mundra stake.

His one question, says a source, was how much LNG each company could supply and over what period "Pandian isn't worried about price,” we hear. “He's concerned about supply security.

” GAIL is the most determined bidder and is following up "aggressively" with GSPC LNG. "GAIL badly wants a stake," adds a source.

GSPC appointed SBI Caps as its consultant in January 2012.

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