Petronet Q1 net up 90% at Rs 108 crore

Petronet LNG, a private entity promoted by stateowned oil firms for importing gas in ships, recorded a net profit after tax of Rs 108 crore on a turnover of Rs 1,562 crore during the first quarter of the current fiscal. This marks a 90% increase in net profit and 52% growth in turnover over the previous corresponding quarter.
During the quarter under review, the company processed and sold 78.62 TBTUs against 66.35 TBTUs in last quarter ending June 30, 2006, achieving a 130% capacity utilisation.
Petronet managing director P Dasgupta stated that the company had entered into a term contract for sourcing additional 1.25 million tonne of liquefied natural gas with RasGas of Qatar on July 3. This additional gas will be used to supply fuel from Dahej terminal to Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd?s Dabhol power project.
Dasgupta also informed that Dahej terminal?s capacity would progressively be increased to 10 million tonnes per annum between July 2008 and January 2009 as per schedule. The work on the greenfield terminal at Kochi has already commenced and would be completed in the first quarter of 2011.
The EPC contract for the project will include putting up regassification facilities to handle imports of 2.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG and the jetty and related marine facilities capable of handling 5 million tonnes per annum of gas cargo.
The scope of work will also include two storage tanks, each with a capacity of about 150,000 cubic metres. The import terminal that will be built on Puthuvypeen island had earlier been scheduled for completion in 2009, and due to receive its initial LNG imports by 2010 at the latest. Petronet is in talks to import LNG from the Chevron-operated Gorgon liquefaction project in Australia. Volumes are expected to come from the 25% capacity share being marketed by partner ExxonMobil.
Petronet is expecting a 50% cost escalation of its Kochi project as it gets ready to sign the LNG supply contract with Gorgon project in Australia.The need for a deeper pile work because of unstable soil and rising price of nickel to be used inside the storage tanks will push up the project cost by nearly Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore.
After concluding all commercial negotiations, Petronet is discussing the draft sales purchase agreement for supply of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG from Gorgon for 25 years. As per the price averaging system approved by the Centre, Petronet expects to deliver LNG at $5.75 per mbtu (million British thermal unit) to all its consumers in the country.
The price has been arrived at after factoring in the possibility of availability of gas from Krishna-Godavari belt in the southern states. With uniform price the existing consumers of its Dahej project will have to share the price burden of supply of LNG from new sources under this system.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, 17 July 2007
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