Petronet expects 15 percent rise in India’s LNG imports

India’s largest LNG importer Petronet LNG expects a 15 rise in the country’s imports of liquefied natural gas during this financial year, according to Petronet LNG’s management.

Petronet’s executives said during the company’s earnings call on May 23 that the company expects India’s LNG imports to rise to 27 millions tonnes in the fiscal year 2025/2026 which ends in March next year.

The reasons behind the growth are lower prices as India is a price-sensitive market and the hot weather during this season which has “substantially” increased power demand.

India imported about 23.3 million tonnes during the April 2023-March 2024 financial year, up by 17.5 percent, according to PPAC data.

At the moment, India imports LNG via seven facilities with a combined capacity of about 47.7 million tonnes.

These include Petronet LNG’s Dahej and Kochi terminals, Shell’s Hazira terminal, and the Dabhol LNG, Ennore LNG, Mundra LNG, and Dhamra LNG terminal.

Hindustan Petroleum’s 5 mtpa Chhara LNG import terminal in Gujarat should also receive its commissioning cargo later this year.

Dahej expansion and Kochi pipeline

Petronet is currently expanding its 17.5 mtpa Dahej LNG terminal with about 5 mtpa of new capacity, and is also constructing two additional LNG tanks on top of the six existing tanks.

The company’s executives said that the 5 mtpa additional capacity at the Dahej terminal should be available by March 2025.

During the financial year which ended March 31, 2024, the Dahej terminal processed 865 TBTU of LNG as against 704 TBTU processed during the previous financial year.

The overall LNG volume processed by the company in the financial year was 919 TBTU, and this compares to 752 TBTU in the financial year before.

Besides the Dahej LNG terminal, Petronet operates the 5 mtpa Kochi LNG facility and is working on the Gopalpur FSRU project.

The Kochi terminal is currently operating at about 20 percent capacity.

Petronet expects the Kochi-Bangalore pipeline to be completed by the end of this year or by the end of March next year and this will substantially boost the utilization of the facility.

Moreover, Petronet’s executives said during the call that the construction of the Gopalpur project will take about three years to complete and the project is currently in its initial stage.

In December last year, the firm executed binding deals with Gopalpur Ports for its first LNG terminal on India’s east coast.

Petronet and Gopalpur Ports signed sub-concession agreement, sub-lease deed, and port service agreement for the first phase of the 4 mpta FSRU-based terminal, with provision for converting to a 5 mtpa land-based terminal at the port.

The company’s executives noted during the call that Petronet may opt for a land-based terminal because of limited availability of FSRUs in the international market.

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