KOCHI:The pipeline laying for the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Kerala from the Petronet LNG Terminal at Puthuvype in Kochi could be completed in six to eight months after getting necessary permissions, said A K Balyan, MD and CEO, Petronet LNG Ltd. He was speaking to mediapersons at a press conference here on Sunday. He added that the state government is losing a large chunk of revenue due to the capacity under-utilisation of South India’s sole LNG terminal on Kochi coast. For 2014-15, the Kochi terminal reported a pre-tax loss of around `400 crore.
In a lighter vein, Balyan said that learning lessons from the setbacks of Kochi LNG Terminal, the company (Petronet LNG) has decided that the proposed Gangavaram LNG terminal of the company in Andhra Pradesh will be made operational only after multiple pipelines are in place.
“The Gangavaram LNG terminal has been delayed due to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and following elections there. But now the AP government has assured full assistance to lay pipelines before the commencement of the five million metric tonnes per annum capacity terminal at Gangavaram. Two pipelines from the terminal site is already in place and one more will come up soon. The next Director Board meeting of Petronet LNG will decide on awarding contract for the construction of the terminal,” Balyan added. Pointing out that it is the best time to buy LNG due to cheap price now, Balyan said that companies like FACT should look at long-term usage of the fuel instead of resorting to spot cargo which is available only at higher rates. When asked whether there are any plans to close down the Kochi terminal, Balyan said that there is no point in shutting down the terminal as it is a project of national importance. He asked what will happen if the Kochi Refinery closes down, same is the case with Petronet LNG terminal, he said. “In Kerala not a single person is saying ‘no’ to the project. But the awareness is not drifting down to the grassroots level. LNG is cheaper and safer compared to any other fuel right now. Many industries are actually waiting for the fuel to come at their doorsteps. The Kerala government could no longer keep the door closed and allow to forgo the revenue that could have been made from the usage of LNG,” he further said.
‘Awareness not trickling down’
“In Kerala not a single person is saying ‘no’ to the project. But the awareness is not drifting down to the grassroots level. LNG is cheaper and safer compared to any other fuel right now.