Petronet LNG’s Kochi terminal heavily under-utilised

Cochin: The 5m tonnes per annum (tpa) Puthuvypeen terminal of Indian gas importer Petronet LNG continues to lie severely under-utilised in the absence of pipelines to carry the gas to end-consumers. The INR46bn ($750m) receiving terminal has been operating at barely 1% of its installed capacity for most of fiscal 2014-15.

“The major problem is an absence of pipelines to move the gas into the large consuming neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,” said the government-owned LNG importer’s managing director and ceo Dr A K Balyan.

Work on the over-1,000-km pipeline in the Kochi-Bangalore-Mangalore sector by the Gas Authority of India Ltd was stalled following public protest, and less than 100 km has been covered so far.

“The pipelines are crucial for the gas sector; and I have been urging the Kerala state government to take a positive initiative in getting the gas pipeline laying work in northern Kerala completed,” said Balyan.

“It is sad to see our beautiful, modern LNG terminal so heavily under-utilised, at a time when our Dahej (Gujarat) terminal is handling 12.5m tpa, and is being expanded to 15m tpa by 2015-16.”

India’s regasification capacity is expected to touch 47.5m tpa by March 2016, whereas gas transmission pipelines, currently running to 9,000 km, are expected to reach around 15,000 km by the end of fiscal 2015-16.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.
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