GAIL breakwater for Dabhol rises from the dead

Vol 22, PW 11 (21 Mar 19) Midstream & Downstream

With only a month until Easter, resurrection is on everybody's mind.

Fittingly, an ever-delayed project to complete the breakwater at the Dabhol LNG terminal has risen yet again from the dead. This time bids will be submitted by March 25 after project consultant Engineers India invited offers on February 8 on behalf of terminal operator Konkan LNG, a joint venture between GAIL and NTPC.

Not long ago the last breakwater tender was scrapped in 2018 after beleaguered Essar Projects, which bid lowest quoting approximately Rs700cr ($97m) in October 2017, faced insolvency. AFCONS, bidding Rs850cr ($118m), came second.

A GAIL source tells us if everything goes to plan this time, the breakwater will be ready by 2023. If true, Dabhol like DAHEJ and Hazira, will become an all-weather terminal and GAIL can stop diverting its long-term US cargoes to DAHEJ.

"Dabhol will take much of the pressure off DAHEJ," we hear. Without a breakwater, LNG tankers at Dabhol are unable to berth at the terminal during heavy monsoon rains when the seas become too rough.

At present Dabhol has just 500 meters of the total 2.3-km long breakwater needed and cannot function for more than six months a year. "That's why we receive on average only 15 cargoes a year at Dabhol," adds GAIL.

Since it was commissioned in January 2013 and until December 31 (2018) GAIL had received only 92 cargoes at Dabhol, according to Petrowatch data.