IndianOil takes on Petronet-LNG domination

Vol 20, PW 7 (15 Dec 16) Midstream & Downstream

In the Bible David had the guts to challenge Goliath - and he won.

IndianOil is hoping for similar success as it challenges Petronet-LNG's dominance in the LNG sector. An IOC source confidently claims that in the next three years IOC will have a formidable presence through LNG projects on both the east and west coasts, enough to make Petronet-LNG bosses start looking over their shoulders with fear.

IOC already holds 12.5% in Petronet LNG which ensures its presence at two operating west coast terminals Dahej and Kochi. But now it is also preparing to acquire cash-strapped GSPC's 50% in the upcoming 5m t/y Mundra terminal where Adani holds 25%.

"GSPC had shortlisted IOC to take 25% in Mundra (as a third strategic partner)," an IOC source tells us. "But now GSPC wants to exit Mundra by selling its entire 50% to us.

Our Board has already made up its mind to take the Mundra stake. Expect a positive decision by next year (2017)." Adani is also apparently keen that IOC acquires GSPC's stake as it is comfortable working with the company.

In September this year (2016) IOC also picked up 38% at Adani's 5m t/y Dhamra terminal in Orissa. This is a politically astute move by IOC: it's an open secret that Adani boss Gautam Adani is a good friend of Narendra Modi.

IOC's $774m LNG terminal at Ennore in Tamil Nadu is also likely to be ready by 2018-19.

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