'I'll visit Kochi once a month!' says Prabhat

Vol 19, PW 5 (05 Nov 15) People & Policy

Petronet-LNG staff at the company's woefully underutilised Kochi LNG terminal can look forward to seeing a lot more of their boss Prabhat Singh.

Speaking exclusively to PETROWATCH at the Welcome Hotel in Vadodara on October 21 en route to Delhi after a two-day visit to Dahej, Singh confirms he will give the stranded 5m t/y terminal top priority during his five-year term. “I will be in Kochi for a couple of days every month beginning this month (November),” says Singh.

Straightforward and direct, GAIL's former director marketing repeatedly stressed during our 40-minute interview that he is doing all in his power to save Kochi where capacity utilisation is a worrying 2.1% since the regas terminal was commissioned in August 2013. For instance Singh said he is preparing for a meeting with Kerala chief secretary Jiji Thomson, scheduled for November 3.

“The Kerala state government is giving us full support to move this project forward,” he adds. Singh, who prior to returning to GAIL was also a senior executive at BG, is using his former contacts at GAIL to accelerate work on a 508-km R-LNG evacuation pipeline to Mangaluru in Karnataka.

“GAIL has invited bids to lay the pipeline,” he said. “Petronet-LNG and GAIL are working shoulder to shoulder to put the terminal back on track.

” An evacuation pipeline, he adds confidently, should be ready in phases by mid-2017.