Three companies want Mundra LNG terminal stake

Vol 13, PW 12 (19 Nov 09) Midstream & Downstream

At least three international energy giants are interested in the proposed Mundra LNG project, promoted by GSPC (50%) and Adani (25%).

PETROWATCH learns that British Gas, Gazprom and RasGas are all talking to GSPC with a view to supplying long term LNG and/or becoming a strategic partner. On the table is the remaining 25% stake in the project, once claimed by Essar, and before that by Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL).

“Discussions are on,â€‌ confirms a GSPC source. British Gas, we learn, has committed 2m t/y LNG supplies in writing, while Gazprom has made an oral commitment of 1m t/y from Sakhalin-III.

Gazprom’s offer was made during the just-concluded visit to Russia by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi during an hour-long meeting with its deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev. “Discussions were mainly about our KG operations and Mundra LNG,â€‌ adds GSPC.

Gazprom will soon be sending a technical team for an onsite visit to Mundra. Gujarat officials have likewise made presentations to BG and RasGas.

“Mundra is a capital intensive project,â€‌ we hear. “A good strategic partner will make all the difference.

â€‌ GSPC wants Mundra to become a supply hub for future supplies of R-LNG to north India through a 973-km long gas transmission pipeline from Mehsana in Gujarat to Bhatinda in Punjab, and another 447-km pipeline from Punjab to Kashmir. Both pipeline proposals are pending approval from the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board.

HPCL was keen to be the third partner in the Mundra LNG project but wanted a 50% stake, which GSPC refused. Essar later showed interest but backed out, uncomfortable at working with Adani; the two companies, it seems, don’t get on.

“Anyway,â€‌ says an industry source, “Essar was more interested in setting up a (LNG) terminal at Pipavav.â€‌ Tractebel is slated to submit its FEED report on Mundra by March next year.

LNG Summit