Still no cabinet approval for FSRU off Mumbai

Vol 19, PW 26 (08 Sep 16) Midstream & Downstream

Almost forgotten, Mumbai Port Trust's proposal to set up a 5m t/y floating and LNG regasification vessel (FSRU) off Mumbai received a boost on August 8 when it received Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority.

This is a critical prelude to environmental clearance which Port Trust sources expect within two months. Sadly this isn't enough to set the project in motion.

Two companies who bid to set up the project on May 5 (Shapoorji Pallonji and a consortium of IMC Infrastructure with Norway's Hoegh LNG) are still waiting for the critical seal of approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) despite the best efforts of Port Trust chairman Sanjay Bhatia and surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari. No one can explain the delay.

"We'll open price bids within two days of CCEA approval," says a Port Trust source, "and the project will be awarded a month after." If needed, he adds, a special Port Trust board will be convened to speedily approve the award. On the bright side a public hearing was held on July 22 with no objections raised; GAIL agreed gas pipeline connectivity at Uran on June 23; Maharashtra Pollution Control Board clearance came in April; PNGRB approval in March; L&T-Ramboll submitted the EIA report in December 2015 and the same month the government's Public Private Project Appraisal Committee cleared the project.

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