India plans to more than double its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal capacity in six years to cater to the rising natgas demand from refineries, fertilizer and power plants, according to a report in the Economic Times.
A total of 15.15m tonnes of LNG was delivered into Indian terminals in 2015, a 5% increase from 2014, according to ICIS data.
India was one of the biggest importers of LNG in Asia buying approximately10.4 million tonnes in 2014. In 2015-16, the natural gas consumption in the country rose barely 2 per cent to 52 billion cubic meters, of which 40 per cent was imported as LNG.
With LNG prices hovering around a benign $5/mBtu for several months coupled with drop in domestic production of natural gas, India’s gas imports have risen a steep 45.4% annually in April.
India’s LNG sector is undergoing a major transformation as it is set to occupy a crucial part in the country’s energy portfolio after the federal government approved the use of imported gas for power generation and fertilizer production.
Now, India's plans to set up new terminals and expand existing facilities will push up LNG terminal capacity to 47.5 million metric tonne per annum (mmtpa) by 2022 from the current 21.3 mmtpa, according to an oil ministry document.
The fertilizer and power sectors have been key consumers of the natural gas in the country, depending mostly on domestic output, while refineries and petrochemicals plants have relied more on imported gas.
India and Qatar are expected to give a push to cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector, with the latter having the world’s third largest gas reserves and being India’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Currently, there are four LNG terminals at Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat, Dabhol in Maharashtra and Kochi in Kerala. The recently-built Kochi terminal is barely functional due to the delay in the construction of pipeline planned to connect the terminal with the consumers.
Total Qatari deliveries to India in 2015 stood at 9m tonnes, down from 11.9m tonnes from 2014. Qatar’s share in total Indian LNG supply was 59%, down from 82% in 2014.
Qatar has gas reserves exceeding 900 trillion cubic feet (25 trillion cubic metres), or 14 per cent of global reserves. It is the largest LNG exporter in the world.