After a decade-long delay, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal of the Petronet LNG Limited at Puthuvype is all set to redraw the industrial scenario not only of Kerala but also of the entire South India.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will dedicate the `4,200-crore LNG terminal, which has a capacity of five million tonnes per year, to the nation on Saturday.
Though the commercial supply of the fuel from the Petronet LNG Limited at Puthuvype has started in August last year, the official dedication ceremony will take place today.The Petronet LNG Limited at Puthuvype is the first-of-its kind in South India. Though a slew of projects using the LNG are in the anvil, it faces a galaxy of problems ranging from under-utilisation, high price of the fuel, the non-completion of laying of pipelines and difficulty in finding new consumers.
“The present consumers in the state are FACT, BPCL, HOCL and Nitta Gelatin. They utilise only six percent of the total capacity of the terminal.
‘‘The supply of LNG through trucks to the Hindustan Latex Limited will commence in four months.
‘‘ Talks are being held with companies like BSES, Tata Ceramics and Binani Zinc.
‘‘We are also planning to supply the fuel to Sri Lanka and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. If we could find more customers, the terminal will soon attain break-even. Though 505-km pipeline has to be laid through the state to connect the Putuvype terminal with Mangalore and Bangalore, only less than 150 km has been laid so far, and it is a major concern,” said a Petronet LNG official.
Apart from providing LNG to industries in the state, the conversion of existing power plants to LNG, new power plants using natural gas, city gas distribution project and conversion of KSRTC buses to CNG mode are envisaged using the fuel. Two vessels Wilenergy and Fuwairit called at Puthuvype to supply fuel to the terminal.
‘Loss of `5,000 Cr’
BJP leader A N Radhakrishnan, in a press meet, has alleged that the state exchequer suffered a loss of `5,000 crore due to delay in commissioning of LNG terminal.
He said the LNG Terminal, sanctioned during Prime Minister A B Vajpayee’s tenure, should have been completed by 2007. “The commissioning got delayed due to the lackadaisical attitude of the successive state governments. The irresponsible attitude of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and earlier Chief Ministers V S Achuthanandan and A K Antony caused the delay. They should answer why the delay was caused,” he said. The BJP leader said that Gujarat Government commissioned an LNG terminal, with three times more capacity of the terminal being commissioned in Kochi, in three years.