KOCHI: In an attempt to tap the potential of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Puthuvype in Kochi and help the state put the benefits to good use, the trade and industry bodies are out to push the government to the wall.
As part of Mission LNG campaign initiated by the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), a Mega Assembly on Liquefied Natural Gas will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the Fine Arts Hall here on Tuesday at 4.30 pm.
Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, BJP state president V Muraleedharan, Kanam Rajendran, K N A Khader, MPs, MLAs in the district, trade union and industry leaders will participate.
The event is being held as part of the efforts of KCCI to rescue the `4,500 crore project from the danger of collapsing. At present, only one per cent of the total capacity of 5 MMTPA of the terminal is being utilised mainly because of lack of connectivity and high cost of the fuel.
“Though a huge chunk of investment was made by Petronet LNG in Kochi, the people of the state are hardly benefited by it. The state does not get natural gas as there is no pipeline connectivity. The scenario also keeps the state away from the national natural gas grid.
Hence, we have to depend on imported LNG which is costly. The apprehensions raised by the public against the laying of pipelines are based on misconceptions. The main objective of the Mega Assembly is to form a task force of senior officials of all the entities involved in the project. Only then the pipeline connectivity could be completed. The other demand of the trade and industry bodies is the reduction of 14.5 per cent VAT on the fuel. It will reduce the cost of the fuel by around $2, so that companies can use LNG in a viable manner,” said M P Sukumaran Nair, vice-president, Mission LNG.
He added that the residents of Kochi city are looking forward to the implementation of city gas project here.
“Many big-ticket investments have come up in the city. Unfortunately, majority of them are not beneficial to the state in general and for Kochi in particular. We hope that the Mega Assembly will prove to be an eye opener for all the stakeholders. As a trade and industry body we believe that the large amount of investment pumped into the city should not go waste,” said Mathew Kuruvithadam, Chairman, KCCI.
■ Total investment- `4,500 crore
■ Capacity - 5MMTPA
■ Developer - Petronet LNG Ltd
■ Original idea mooted in - 1998
■ Construction commenced in - 2007
■ Commissioning - August 22, 2013
■ First vessel with LNG arrived on - August 20, 2013
■ Second vessel arrived on - November 15, 2013
■ Project dedicated to the nation on - January 4, 2014
■ Present status- Only one per cent capacity is being used, likely to be leased out this month