India seeks 10 MT of LNG from Qatar Offers stake in Dabhol?s facility
1-Jan-1970


India today sought an additional 10 million tonnes (MT) of LNG from Qatar and in return offered that country a stake in the Dabhol Power Plant?s hived-off LNG facility.

?They were very positive on our demand. We expect to import the additional fuel, which will be mainly used to run power plants, from 2010-11,? Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan told reporters after Qatar?s Finance Minister Yusuf Hussain Kamal called on Petroleum Minister Murli Deora here.

Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co, a Qatar Petroleum joint venture with Exxon Mobil Corp, signed an agreement with India?s Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) in 1999 to sell 7.5 MT of the fuel annually. Of this, Petronet currently imports 5 MT at its Dahej terminal in Gujarat and would start importing the rest 2.5 MT from 2009.

Mr Srinivasan said Qatar was offered an opportunity to pick up Petronet?s $100 million foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB), which upon conversion into equity shares would translate into a 7.5 to 12.5 per cent equity stake in Petronet.

After subscribing to the FCCB, Qatar would join Petronet in making an offer to buy Ratnagiri Gas and Power Ltd?s (Dabhol power plant?s new owners) hived-off LNG terminal.

India is already talking to Qatar for 2.1 MT of LNG on a short term to run the Dabhol power plant, Mr Srinivasan said, adding that the additional 10 MT could go into the expanded Dahej terminal, the upcoming Kochi terminal or the Dabhol plant.

PLL CEO P Dasgupta said the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) would shortly conduct due diligence on picking up a stake in the company and would also decide on which Qatar-government firm would be used for the purpose.

Mr Srinivasan said Qatar was also looking to participate in the NTPC?s Kayamkulam project in Kerala, besides the ONGC?s upcoming petro-chemical hub at Mangalore.

ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma said his company has offered Qatar an equity stake in the aromatic and olefin complex coming up at Mangalore and might also offer a stake in the proposed LNG terminal near the complex.

QIA is considering an investment of $5 billion in Indian energy-related projects.

Srinivasan said the deal with Qatar would ensure regular supply of LNG to the Dabhol plant, which is facing start-up delays because of non-availability of fuel.


Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, October 5, 2006
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