Karaikal LNG terminal promoters meet next month

Vol 9, PW 24 (23 Mar 06) Midstream & Downstream

Promoters of a proposed LNG import terminal at Karaikal on Indias eastern seaboard in the former French colony of Pondicherry are scheduled to meet by the middle of next month to formalise the consortium equity structure.

As reported by PETROWATCH last month, Chennai-based Marshal Group and Aban Loyd as well as Ahmedabad-based Adani Group are promoting the proposed Karaikal LNG terminal. Last month they signed a MoU to set up International Petroleum Gas as a Special Purpose Vehicle to oversee the Karaikal LNG project.

We understand the Marshal Group the main promoter of the venture is in active discussions with major Indian private business groups to take equity stakes in the project. Efforts have also begun to convince the Pondicherry state government to take at least a minor equity stake in the venture.

Even a minor stake of just 5% will ensure faster (government) clearances (for the project) as well as an increased comfort level for all investors, says a source. Marshal and Adani Groups will handle the marketing of regassified LNG while Aban Loyd is planning a 1000-MW captive power station.

Under consideration is a $470m LNG terminal expected to be ready by 2011 with an initial capacity of 2.5m t/y to be doubled by 2012-13. Capacity doubling, we learn, will cost just another $100m because only one additional onshore LNG storage tank and some piping will be needed.

Other facilities like unloading arms, jetty and breakwater are being built to handle imports of 5m t/y, we hear. The 2.5m t/y terminal will consist of two onshore LNG storage tanks each of 200,000 cubic metres capacity; a 300-metre jetty and a small breakwater; four unloading arms (three inward to the tanks and one to return boil off gas to the tanker) and regassification facilities.

LNG unloaded from tankers will be transported to onshore storage tanks through a 3-km long pipeline. State-owned Pondicherry Industrial Promotion Development has already allotted 350 acres of land to IP Gas at Karaikal to set up the LNG terminal.

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