Still on course for LNG at Pipavav

Vol 4, PW 10 (21 Jun 00) Midstream & Downstream

Some confusion surrounds plans by British Gas-backed Gujarat Pipavav LNG to import 5.3m tonnes a year of LNG onto the coast of Gujarat.

Talk to Mumbai-based GPLNG executives, and the message is clear: all talk of abandoning the tender is, "absolute rubbish." Jai Prakash Rai, Chief Executive Officer, GPLNG, is happy to go on record to say thatplans to import LNG at Pipavav are firmly on track and robustly discounts any report suggesting otherwise. "There is NO plan to abandon the tender," Rai tells Petrowatch, "This has not even been thought of or dreamt about.

We already have a shortlist of suppliers. A draft Heads Of Agreement (HOA) is being sent out.

We are giving them a 9-week time frame to bid and we expect to have a HOA signed within two months of the bids being received." Rai admits that GPLNG must take some of the blame for the damaging rumours because of its prolonged delay in issuing the tender, "There is no doubt that there has been a slippage at our end with regard to the timetable," admits Rai, "Our tender is going out very shortly now. I can't give you an exact date but I can assure you that it is going out shortly." What is the reason for the delay in issuing the tender - originally expected in February this year British Gas sources in London and Delhi refuse to comment, but according to Rai it stems from a reassesment of the demand from GPLNG's potential customers in Gujarat and beyond.

"We have different kinds of demand among our customers," adds Rai, "The requirments of the end-users had to be factored in."