Crazy proposal for LNG shipyard in India

Vol 17, PW 10 (19 Dec 13) People & Policy

Most industry experts agree the oil ministry is suffering a severe case of delusion if it thinks India has the wherewithal to construct an LNG shipbuilding yard.

PK Singh, oil ministry joint secretary (international cooperation) announced the idea on December 4 at the 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit in Delhi. “A week ago we had a discussion in the ministry about setting up a LNG shipbuilding yard in India,” Singh told LNG sector representatives.

Speaking to PETROWATCH later, he said the ministry was consulting. "There are only a dozen shipyards in the world that can construct LNG carriers,” said Singh.

Nobody would be foolhardy to build a $200m LNG carrier unless there was sufficient clarity on where it would be used, for how long and for what contracts, he said. There is nothing wrong with India aspiring to have LNG shipbuilding capacity.

"Presently it is a remote possibility," admits Singh. During the Q&A session former GAIL chairman CR Prasad professed support for the idea.

“India should set up LNG ship manufacturing facilities through joint ventures with Korean and Japanese ship-makers,” he said. A senior source at Mitsui OSK Lines counters that for any LNG shipyard to succeed it needs full government support.

“It has to be of national importance like it is in Japan," he says. "Otherwise you will go nowhere.

LNG Summit