LNG producing giant Qatargas has delivered its first shipment aboard a Q-Flex vessel to the Ennore LNG import terminal on India’s east coast.
The delivery marks the first shipment using a Q-Flex, but also the first-ever call by a Qatargas-chartered ship at the 5 mtpa IOC-operated facility, according to the Qatari fim.
The Nakilat-owned and Qatargas-chartered Q-Flex vessel, Al Nuaman, called at the Ennore terminal, near the southern Indian city of Chennai, on February 11.
About a week prior to that, the vessel loaded 147,000 cbm of LNG at the Ras Laffan complex, meaning it delivered a partial cargo to India as it has 210,100 cbm capacity.
With this delivery, Al Nuaman becomes the largest LNG carrier to call at the Ennore terminal, Qatar Petroleum’s unit, Qatargas, said.
In addition, Qatargas delivered the cargo to Indian Oil LNG Private Limited, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which operates India’s first LNG terminal on the east coast.
Earlier in February 2019, Qatargas had helped commission the Ennore terminal by supplying LNG volumes. However, Swiss commodity trader, Gunvor delivered this cargo.
Moreover, Qatargas and IOC have been sales partners and in recent years the Indian state-owned firm has been an “important customer to Qatargas with its active purchases of spot cargoes,” the Qatari firm said.
Qatargas sees India as a “key” LNG market
Qatar has established a “strong partnership” with India since July 1999 when Qatargas started supplying liquefied natural gas to the nation’s largest LNG importer, Petronet, the firm said.
Since then, it has delivered thousands of cargoes under its various long-term sales and purchase agreements as well as supplying significant volumes into the short-term / spot market, the firm said.
Qatargas added the firm sees India as a “key market” given its geographical proximity and growth potential.
In addition to the Ennore terminal, Qatargas also commissioned the LNG receiving terminal in Mundra, Gujarat, co-owned by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. and Adani Group, in early 2020.
The country will get another terminal with the launch of H-Energy’s Jaigarh LNG receiving terminal in Maharashtra later this year, in addition to other gas-related infrastructure projects.
These additional terminals will significantly increase India’s capacity to import LNG as the country continues to make strides in achieving its ambitious target of 15 percent gas in the country’s energy mix, Qatargas said.
India currently imports LNG via six terminals with a combined capacity of 42.5 million tonnes.
A recent report by the International Energy Agency suggests India’s LNG imports could rise four times in the next two decades as the nation moves towards a gas‐based economy.
The country’s LNG imports could rise from around 30 bcm in 2019 to more
than 120 bcm in 2040, IEA said.