Qatar offered stake in Dabhol

New Delhi
Qatar, India?s first and only overseas partner for natural gas supplies, has been offered stakes in power project and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the country.

The only rider being that it is linked to additional 10 million tonne (mt) liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from the West Asian country.

?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 was quoted as saying by PTI.

He was briefing reporters after Qatar?s finance minister Yousuf Hussain Kamal called on petroleum minister Murli Deora here.

Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co, a Qatar Petroleum joint venture with Exxon Mobil Corporation, has till now not picked up equity in Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) though as an LNG supplier it was offered the same at the conception of the company itself.

RasGas had signed an agreement with India?s Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) in 1999 to sell 7.5 mt fuel annually on of which the company imports 5 mt at Dahej terminal in Gujarat and would start importing the rest 2.5 mt from 2009.

Srinivasan was quoted as saying that Qatar was offered an opportunity to pick up PLL?s $100-million foreign currency convertible bond (FCCB), which upon conversion into equity shares would translate 7.5% to 12.5% equity stake in Petronet.

?This change in Rasgas association will change its status from a supplier to a strategic investor,? PLL?s managing director and chief executive officer P Dasgupta told DNA Money.

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, said PTI.

The government is mulling over a proposal for splitting the Dabhol project into power plant and LNG terminal. The idea of splitting the power plant has been recently mooted by lenders.

India is already talking to Qatar for 2.5 mt LNG to run Dabhol power plant besides seeking additional quantities for other projects.

Srinivasan was reported to have said the additional 10 mt can go into the expanded Dahej terminal, PLL?s upcoming Kochi terminal or the Dabhol plant.

He said Qatar was also looking to take part in the National Thermal Power Corporation?s Kayamkulam project in Kerala, besides Oil and Natural Gas Corporation?s upcoming petrochemical hub at Mangalore.

Source:, October 5, 2006
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