Only L&T can say when Mundra R-LNG will flow

Vol 20, PW 10 (09 Feb 17) Midstream & Downstream

GSPC claims the Mundra LNG terminal will be 'mechanically complete' or ready for operations by June 2017.

This might be true. But we're unlikely to see R-LNG flowing before August 2018 - at the earliest.

A GSPC source admits the terminal will be commissioned only when a 36-inch diameter 67-km evacuation pipeline to Anjar town in Gujarat is completed by L&T, which won the LoA last month (January). L&T quoted Rs328cr ($49m) to win the contract when Gujarat State Petronet opened price bids on December 19.

Engineering work has begun but under the LoA pipeline laying work must be completed within 18 months - or by August 2018. GSPC hopes L&T can finish sooner - by end-2017.

But anyone with experience of Indian operating conditions will know it could take longer. Yet GSPC is optimistic.

"The length of the pipeline (67-km) is not much," we hear. "L&T is known for its project execution capability." L&T's pipeline will connect to Gujarat Petronet's gas grid.

Gujarat Petronet will lay another 197-km pipeline from there to Chotila, famous for its Hindu temples. At the Mundra terminal itself, GSPC reports both the 185,000 cubic metre capacity onshore LNG tanks are nearly ready.

Japanese contractor IHI hydro-tested (filling each tank with water to check for leaks) one tank in November and the other in December. Nitrogen purging is now underway to dry them out.