GAIL on Saturday said that it has entered into a 14-year Time Charter Party with Cool Company, a pure play liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company, for a new carrier as the state-run aims to expand its carrier fleet.

The time charter for the LNG carrier will commence in early 2025 and GAIL will have the option to extend it by two additional years beyond the firm 14-year period, the country’s largest gas utility said.

GAIL presently has four LNG carriers in its fleet.

GAIL’s Executive Director (Marketing – Shipping & International LNG) S Bairagi said, “GAIL is looking forward to taking delivery of the LNG carrier as part of its ambitious plans for meeting the large and growing demand for natural gas in India.”

CoolCo CEO Richard Tyrrell said “We are delighted to announce a long-term charter with GAIL, the leading gas company in one of the highest growth markets for LNG. The leading-edge technology and best-in-class economic and environmental performance of this newbuild LNG carrier secure GAIL’s ability to transport clean-burning LNG in a highly efficient and cost-effective manner for many years to come.”

The Maharatna company owns and operates a network of over 16,200 km of natural gas pipelines across the country. It is also concurrently executing multiple pipeline projects to further enhance the spread. GAIL commands around 70 per cent market share in gas transmission and has over 50 per cent gas trading share in India.