The Shapoorji Pallonji Group has submitted a bid to build an LNG regasification terminal at Mumbai Port Trust.

Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Company Ltd (SP Infra), a unit of the Mumbai-based conglomerate, is one of the two entities that have submitted bids to develop a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that can load 3.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG at Mumbai port.

Unlike a conventional, high-cost LNG regasification terminal, an FSRU is a cost-effective and faster way to secure energy supplies. It allows loaded LNG carriers to dock alongside the LNG FSRU to allow ship-to-ship transfer of LNG from the LNG carriers to the FSRU.

The Mumbai Port Trust LNG FSRU, estimated to cost over ₹2,690 crore, including ₹1,500 crore for an FSRU vessel, has received environment and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. A Mumbai Port Trust spokesman said the organisation is awaiting Cabinet approval for the project ahead of finalising the tender, and confirmed that Shapoorji Pallonji has placed a bid for the same.

SP Infra has also acquired a 60 per cent controlling stake in Gopalpur Ports Ltd, the entity that runs a port at Gopalpur in Odisha’s Ganjam district. The acquisition value has not been made public yet. The port’s master plan is designed to handle 40 mt of cargo in three phases.

The Gopalpur port was originally awarded by the Odisha government in 2006 to an equal joint venture between Sara International Ltd and Orissa Stevedores Ltd for development and operations for an initial period of 30 years, and extendable by 20 years.

SP Infra bought out the stake held by Sara International and another 10 per cent from Orissa Stevedores, Mana Mohan Moharana, one of the directors representing Orissa Stevedores on Gopalpur Ports, told BusinessLine . “The Odisha government has approved the change in the shareholding of Gopalpur Ports, but the revised concession agreement is yet to be signed,” he said.

SP Infra is also developing a greenfield port at Chhara in Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district under a concession agreement signed with the Gujarat Maritime Board. The port is being developed in phases by Simar Port Ltd, an SPV floated by SP Infra, to handle 40 mt of bulk cargo, 2 million 20 feet equivalent units of containers and 20 mtpa of LNG and other petroleum cargo at the port.

HPCL Shapoorji Energy Ltd, a joint venture between state-run oil refiner HPCL and SP Infra, will develop the LNG regasification terminal with an initial capacity of 5 mtpa. The capacity of the LNG terminal can be expanded to 10 mtpa.

Cutting carbon emission

India is building LNG import terminals on both coasts and pipelines for supply to boost industrial use of gas. The aim is to shift to a gas-based economy by raising domestic production and buying cheap LNG as the world’s third-biggest oil importer seeks to curb its greenhouse emissions.