Dabhol to receive only 10 cargoes without breakwater

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

Don’t expect the Dabhol LNG terminal to operate at its full (5m t/y) capacity when commissioned in March or April next year.

Apart from the pressure â€کmismatch’ and absence of a â€کtug berth’ the likely three-year delay in construction of a breakwater means it will only be able to operate at 25% capacity, receiving just 1.25m t/y or 4.5m cm/d – hardly enough to fire the Dabhol power plant at full capacity of 2150-MW. For this, say gas sector sources, the Dabhol power plant would need 7.6m cm/d (2.1m t/y).

“This means GAIL will have to import around 40 LNG cargoes a year,â€‌ we hear. “But without a breakwater they can bring in only a maximum of 10 cargoes.

â€‌ When the terminal was originally conceived, former operator Enron hoped to set aside 2.1m t/y (7.6m cm/d) for the power plant and sell the remaining 2.9m t/y (10.4m cm/d) on the open market. But without a breakwater, new joint operator GAIL won’t have enough R-LNG to fire the power plant, let alone supply the line of fertiliser plants, small-scale industries and gas retailers demanding new supplies.

As a back up, GAIL is talking to Petronet-LNG, where it has a 12.5% stake, for â€کslots’ at the Dahej terminal to receive LNG cargoes, whose gas could be diverted to the power plant. But for industry, no supplies will be available until construction of a breakwater.

What progress on breakwater construction Very little! Last year, GAIL and Engineers India acting for Ratnagiri Gas, issued a tender. “Three companies showed interest,â€‌ reveals a source.

“But none bid because there were some last minute changes to the (bidding) parameters.â€‌ As recently as January this year EIL and GAIL were still publishing â€کcorrendigums’ with one source telling us he now believes they will abandon the original tender and issue a fresh one.

Contacted by PETROWATCH, a Ratnagiri Gas spokesman would confirm only that the breakwater is, “still at the tender stage.â€‌