LNG import unit at Karaikal to start commercial operations from Q4 FY21

Our Bureau | Updated on February 20, 2020 Published on February 20, 2020

(from left) GRK Reddy, Promoter-Director of Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy, JM Sigelman, CEO, AG&P, and M Kandasamy, Puducherry Minister of Ports, at the groundbreaking ceremony for AG&P’s LNG import facility at Karaikal Port, Puducherry, on Thursday   -  Bijoy Ghosh

The LNG import facility at Karaikal port in Puducherry is expected to commence commercial operations by the fourth quarter of 2021. The ground-breaking ceremony was conducted today for the facility, which is owned and operated by Singapore-based Atlantic Gulf and Pacific (AG&P), a global leader in LNG and gas logistics and distribution solutions.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy conducted the ground-breaking in the presence of JM Sigelman, CEO of AG&P, at a function in Chennai.

Karaikal LNG will serve the city gas networks of AG&P, and other city gas companies. AG&P has city gas distribution (CGD) license for Kanchipuram and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sigelman said Karaikal LNG is a cornerstone project for Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that will provide clean and affordable fuel. LNG will be exported from countries like the US, Oman and Qatar. The gas will be delivered to end customers ― vehicles, kitchens, large and small factories, power plants, restaurants and malls, he said. “This is part of our $1.5-billion commitment in southern India,” he said.

Karaikal LNG import terminal will complement Indian Oil’s LNG terminal at Ennore and will provide wider gas accessibility to Puducherry and Tamil Nadu for industrial development. It will also serve the industrialised region of central Tamil Nadu, which has major manufacturing bases for the fertiliser, cement, steel, textile, leather, sugar and garment industries located within its catchment area. In addition, it will serve the gas-fired power industry as well as multiple demand centres via pipeline and/or CGD network.

The re-gasification terminal at Karaikal port is located four km away from a tie-in point on GAIL’s Narimananan-Kuthalam natural gas pipeline network to provide gas to customers in Tamil Nadu.

The Karaikal LNG import facility is being built on a 12-hectare site within the Karaikal port, 280 km south off Chennai. It will have an initial capacity of one million tonnes per annum (mtpa); later this will be increased to six mtpa in a phased manner. The facility will include a floating storage unit leased through a long-term charter agreement with ADNOC Logistics and Services from 2021, says a press release.

The LNG terminal will provide natural gas to power plants as well as industrial and commercial customers within a 300-km radius stretching to the interiors of Tamil Nadu..

Narayanaswamy said overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, the project has taken off. With large parcels of land available at Puducherry, he urged investors to invest in the Union Territory.

Published on February 20, 2020
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