PLL offers to take over Dabhol?s import terminal  

Petronet LNG Limited (PLL) would bid to take over Dabhol?s five-million tonne LNG import terminal at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra when the government invites bidders. The government is considering giving off the LNG import terminal of the Dabhol power project as part of its plans to check cost over-runs of switching on the generators.

The Dabhol complex is now with Ratnagiri Gas and Power Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) floated by GAIL and NTPC. The SPV had estimated an outgo of Rs 710 crore for completing 15% work on the LNG terminal left incomplete by the original promoter--the now defunct US major Enron. It is now estimated that the work will need an additional Rs 1,000 crore.

Together with transfer cost of Rs 1,790 crore, the total cost of the LNG terminal of Dabhol is likely to cost Rs 3,500 crore. PLL managing director P Dasgupta told FE that his company was interested in the LNG terminal and will bid for it once its put for sale by the government. Dasgupta clarified that PLL would do a detailed due-dilligence of the terminal before taking a final call.

Petroleum secretary MS Srinivasan on Friday said the government had chosen Petronet LNG for the project as it was a specialist in LNG. He said the government had asked ICICI to do a valuation of the project and details will be finalised by Tuesday.

Petronet LNG, a company promoted by state-owned oil companies, has emerged as the favourite for taking over the terminal, followed by gas utility GAIL. Dasgupta said that other than Petronet LNG Limited and GAIL India, some foreign institutional investors may also be interested in the powerb project.

Source: The Financial Express, New Delhi, August 28, 2006
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