Dabhol LNG terminal ready by March/April next year

Vol 12, PW 11 (16 Oct 08) Midstream & Downstream

Sharp differences have emerged between GAIL and lenders over whether to hive off the incomplete LNG receiving terminal at Dabhol from the captive 2150-MW power plant.

On the ground, however, Ratnagiri Gas & Power, a 50:50 joint venture between GAIL and NTPC and new Dabhol owner, is confident the plant can be commissioned by early 2009, according to a press release issued September 26. When exactly in 2009 Inquiries by PETROWATCH reveal earlier than you think.

“The LNG terminal should be ready to receive cargoes by April,â€‌ confirms a source close to the project. “Two of the three LNG tanks will be ready by then.

â€‌ Delhi-based engineering contractor Punj Lloyd and UK-based consultant Whessoe are working to ensure the LNG tanks are ready. “All three LNG tanks were at different stages of completion when Punj and Whessoe took over,â€‌ adds our source.

“Right now they are testing the tanks for leakage. But all the main pre-commissioning work like hydro testing and purging will happen only in March or April next year.

â€‌ But Ratnagiri Gas is faced with a critical problem: how to resolve a mismatch between the design parameters of the main pipeline used to evacuate gas from the LNG terminal into GAIL’s pipeline network. “GAIL and NTPC discovered the mismatch in the pressure â€کsend out system’ and decided to carry out modifications in July,â€‌ we hear.

“The â€کoutlet’ parameters of the LNG terminal should be the same as the â€کinlet’ parameters of GAIL’s pipeline. Without the modifications, the LNG terminal cannot be commissioned.

â€‌ Another important decision holding up project completion was the late order of a â€کtug berth’, used by â€کtug boats’ to guide the LNG tanker up to the terminal jetty. “Usually a tug boat guides the vessel into the terminal and stays berthed close to the jetty until the vessel evacuates the LNG,â€‌ we hear.

“It stays there to guide the tanker out of the terminal if there is an emergency.â€‌