Petronet LNG’s Kochi terminal touches break-even sales volume of 1 mmtpa

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on November 04, 2019 Published on November 04, 2019

Petronet LNG Ltd is also looking at entering in the marine sector   -  Vipin Chandran

After a few initial glitches, Petronet LNG’s Kochi terminal seems to be on its course with meeting Kerala’s natural gas requirements.

The ₹4,700-crore terminal languishing due to under capacity utilisation ever since its commissioning in 2013, has now touched a break even volume of one million tonnes per annum sales. “We have already registered a 20 per cent growth in capacity utilisation, thanks to increased intake of natural gas by BPCL Kochi Refinery and FACT,” TN Neelakantan, Terminal Head, Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL), told BusinessLine.

BPCL has enhanced its offtake by 2.4 million standard cubic metre per day (MSCMD), while that by FACT accounts for 0.9 MSCMD. Above all, the road movement of LNG as liquid is also on the rise for customers in Thiruvananthapuram and Tamil Nadu, he said.

With the commissioning of the Mangaluru pipeline connectivity by GAIL, he expressed the hope that the Kochi terminal would attain an additional 15-20 per cent surge in its capacity utilisation. Mangaluru is a good consumption point since firms such as MRPL, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers, ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals require natural gas for their production requirements, he said.

Besides, the proposed Proplylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP) of BPCL-Kochi Refinery here would also add further to natural gas usage, he added.

LNG-based bus

Petronet LNG is also set to achieve a major breakthrough in public transportation in India by launching buses laden with natural gas as fuel for the first time in the country. Two buses each will be deployed in Kochi and Dahej soon for staff movement. This milestone achievement has been made possible after amendments were made to the country’s MV Act proposing the use of LNG as a fuelling option for motor vehicles, said Neelakantan.

The move, according to him, will provide a greater impetus for LNG usage in long-distance buses. Once filled with LNG, these buses would ply about 800 km, which would be ideal for long-haul traffic to reduce transportation cost, he said, adding that Gujarat and Kerala governments have evinced interest in introducing LNG buses.

Foray into marine sector

Petronet LNG Ltd is also looking at entering in the marine sector where the company is in advance stage of launching a fishing boat with natural gas as fuel. “PLL is carrying out a pilot project jointly with Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council and Matsyafed for converting a fishing boat with natural gas as fuel. The State government is interested in the project as LNG boats would considerably bring down operating cost of trawlers especially in the time of fluctuating fuel prices.”

However, Tony Mathew, General Manager, GAIL, cited some uncertainties with respect to the progress of the pipeline work in the 444-km Kochi-Mangaluru section. Unexpected rains and technical difficulties in carrying out underground drilling works in Chandragiri River in Kasargodu are impacting the work. “We are tackling the issues one by one. So far 99 per cent of the work was over and the remaining work in the 2-km stretch is expected to be completed in the set time frame itself,” he said.


Published on November 04, 2019

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