Naik inaugurates 5m t/y LNG terminal at Dahej

Vol 5, PW 24 (30 Jan 02) Midstream & Downstream

ALMOST HIDDEN from view by a mass of flowers, potted plants and television cameras, oil minister Ram Naik on Monday (28th January) unveiled a foundation stone at Dahej for the 5m t/y LNG terminal promoted by Petronet LNG.

Close to a thousand invitees sat through two hours of speeches under a marquee in the foreground of LNG tanks - still under construction. A dozen fans whirred overhead to keep out the heat as attendants sprayed air freshener around the sprawling venue.

"We could have had this function three or four months ago. But we wanted the Gujarat (earthquake) rehabilitation to pick up," Naik told his audience after pressing a button to unveil the stones 50 metres away.

Naik, Qatar energy minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, oil secretary Vijayendra Kaul and others kicked up dust storms as they landed in helicopters. Naik showed his guests around construction work at the two LNG tanks and piling work for the 2.5-km jetty.

Chief minister Narendra Modi used the occasion to demand more royalty, more gas from Tapti and a reversal of the decision to raise gas prices. "If gas prices are raised, export of manufactured goods will be hit," Modi cautioned Naik, in his native Gujarati.

"Modi is a very clever man," replied Naik in Hindi. "He wants more gas.

Everybody wants more gas. A lot of gas will be available once this project is completed.

Please send in your demand to Petronet LNG."