New Delhi

State-run GAIL (India) said on Thursday that it has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Shell Energy India (SEI) to explore opportunities for import of ethane and other hydrocarbons.

The Mou also covers the development of evacuation infrastructure at Shell Energy Terminal at Hazira.

Bilateral MoU

Earlier, GAIL entered into a bilateral MoU with SEI for scouting opportunities in different facets of energy cooperation, wherein a feasibility study was conducted by a reputed consultant on developing ethane import infrastructure in the existing SEI terminal, GAIL said.

ONGC has a bilateral MoU with GAIL for importing and handling hydrocarbons. In view of the emergence of ethane requirements in India and proposed development of ethane infrastructure, the three parties ONGC, GAIL and SEI have joined hands, it added.

GAIL’s Director (Business Development) Rajeev Kumar Singhal said “Ethane has emerged as a preferred petrochemical precursor in India and development of its import facilities have gained considerable traction. Definite plans are being formulated to import ethane for domestic petrochemical plant requirements.”

ONGC Group General Manager and Head Petrochemicals Ashok Kumar said that going forward, ethane is the fuel of the future as feedstock to the Indian petrochemical industry. India is adding good petrochemical capacities and making available viable and affordable ethane is the key for the plans ahead.

Foster efficiency

This MoU includes cooperation with clear focus for developing ethane import facilities after gap assessment in existing Shell Hazira Terminal facilities and usage of existing pipeline routes and facilities. The MoU signed envisages to foster efficiency and swift progress of the shared project by leveraging the combined strengths of all three parties.

The move coincides with the objective towards assessment of existing operational infrastructure, ensuring its sufficiency, operational flexibility and effective management of upstream and downstream uncertainties.

The MoU is expected to offer new business prospects to all the parties along with offering diversification of petrochemical feedstock while aligning with the national priorities and Government of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India) mission with manufacturing in India.