India’s first floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Jaigarh in Maharashtra is expected to be operational in the second half of 2022. Besides, another floating terminal at Jafrabad in Gujarat is also likely to begin operations this calendar year.

H-Energy Gateway’s floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) at Jaigarh and the Swan Energy-led terminal at Jafrabad are cumulatively expected to add 11 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of regasification capacity, the International Gas Union (IGU) said.

“In India, two FSRU-based terminals, at Jaigarh and Jafrabad, are currently under development and are expected to start operations in 2022 after pandemic and weather-related delays,” IGU said in its World LNG 2022 report.

At present, India has six operational import terminals. No new LNG import terminals were commissioned in 2021, with Mundra LNG being the last one to come into operation in 2020, adding 5 mtpa of regasification capacity, it added.

India experienced “exceptionally strong growth” over the past decade, increasing its import capacity by more than 160 per cent. Despite accounting for only 39.5 MTPA of regasification capacity by the end of 2020, India has another 30 MTPA of capacity under construction as of April 2022, the report said.

Floating LNG terminals

“India’s first FSRU-based terminals, which were initially due to be commissioned in early 2021, are likely to see operations start up in the second half of 2022,” IGU said.

The Hoegh Giant FSRU, with a storage capacity of 170,000 cubic metres and a regasification capacity of 6 MTPA, arrived at H-Energy’s Jaigarh terminal in Maharashtra in March 2022. The FSRU will deliver regasified LNG to the 56-kilometer-long Jaigarh-Dabhol LNG natural gas pipeline, connecting the LNG terminal to the national gas grid.

The Jaigarh terminal will be capable of reloading LNG onto other LNG vessels to supply other terminals as well as for bunkering services. The facility is also expected to have ship-to-truck loading facilities to enable onshore retail distribution in the near future.

On the other hand, the Jafrabad 5 MTPA terminal was initially expected to be commissioned in early 2020. However, two cyclones and the pandemic delayed the construction of a breakwater required to ensure that it is an all-weather facility.

“The facility, which is partially owned by Swan Energy, is expected to come online in the second quarter of 2022,” the report said.

Natural gas import

India imports half of its natural gas requirements. In FY21, India imported 33,031 million standard cubic metres (MSCM) of LNG worth $7.9 billion, while in FY22, the in-bound shipments of the commodity stood at 30,776 MSCM worth $13.4 billion. During April-May of FY23, the world’s fourth-largest LNG importer shipped 4,949 MSCM LNG worth $2.2 billion.

India was another buyer that had relied on spot cargoes to satisfy its growing appetite for LNG over the previous two years. However, as prices soared in 2021, India’s imports fell by around 10 per cent, with year-on-year declines seen from June 2021 onwards. High spot LNG prices disincentivised imports, with industrial users turning to cheaper fuels than spot LNG, such as fuel oil, the IGU report said.

India’s utilisation rate dropped to 58 per cent in 2021 from 65 per cent in 2020. The relatively low utilisation rate reflects the availability of spare capacity to support growth in India’s LNG demand. This growth is driven primarily by growth in demand for city gas, it added.