Petronet LNG, the biggest gas importer from India, will seek up to one million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) when it renews its long-term agreement with Qatar this year, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.
“We are seeking an additional 0.75 to 1 mtpa on top of existing 8.5 mtpa contact,” Chief Executive A.K. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the Indian Energy Week conference, Reuters reported.
Petronet has until the end of this year to renew its contract with Qatar, where it is currently acquiring LNG at a price of $16 per million British thermal units (mmbtu).
India’s LNG imports decreased for the second consecutive year in 2022, primarily as a result of utilities purchasing less LNG as the nation increased the production of coal-fired electricity at the expense of natural gas.
The energy-starved country anticipates that increased city gas distribution would increase demand for LNG in the upcoming years, according to Reuters.
Petronet will get an additional 0.6 mtpa from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Gorgon project in Australia between 2025 and 2026 in addition to the 1.42 mtpa it now purchases from the project, Singh detailed.
He noted that the purchase would be in addition to the 2.02 mtpa it will import from Gorgon by 2025–2026, though the delivery schedule has not yet been determined.
The gas importer plans to open its first terminal on India’s east coast as part of its effort to increase the capacity of its LNG terminals by more than 53% in the next years.
The state-run corporation now holds a 5 mtpa capacity facility in Kochi and a 17.5 mtpa LNG terminal in Dahej, in the western state of Gujarat. In the eastern state of Odisha, near Gopalpur, it is constructing its third terminal.
“We are looking for 12 million tonnes of additional LNG [capacity] – 3 for Kochi, 4 for Gopalpur and 5 mtpa for Dahej,” Singh said.
Due to incomplete pipeline connectivity, the Kochi terminal is now operating at a reduced capacity, he explained.