“Five projects (in the US) have applied to US authorities for approval to export gas,” Petronet CEO and Managing Director A K Balyan told reporters in New Delhi. “We are talking to some of them with an aim to tie up long-term volumes.”
He refused to give details. With domestic gas output falling, companies are looking at new LNG contracts to meet the growing energy demand.
Besides Petronet, state-owned gas utility GAIL India, too, is looking to acquire capacity at proposed LNG terminals on the US Gulf Coast.
So far, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, Freeport LNG and Southern Union’s Lake Charles are the three projects that have applied to export LNG.
“We have to see how export permissions work out,” Balyan said, adding Petronet was looking at picking up an equity in the terminals to get better pricing of gas.
It is also looking at supplies from the US and Australia among others to feed the 25 million-tons-a-year LNG import capacity it will have by 2015-16.
Balyan said Petronet is expanding the Dahej terminal capacity to 15 million tons a year from 10 million tons in next 40 months while building a new import facility at Kochi in Kerala.
Another 5 million tons facility is planned on the east coast for which three sits – two in Andhra Pradesh and one in Orissa have been shortlisted.
Petronet reported almost doubling of its net profit at Rs 260.33 crore in the quarter ended September 30, on the back of higher volumes it imported in the three-month period.
“We regassified 135.08 trillion British thermal units of gas in July-September as against 99.78 trillion BTUs in the same period a year ago,” he said, adding that besides the long-term LNG contract from Qatar, the company imported 12 cargoes from the spot market in the quarter.
It had not imported any shipload of LNG in Q2 of previous year.
“We hope to maintain the trend (during the current quarter). Import from spot market should be 12 to 14 cargoes,” he said.
Petronet in all imported 42 cargoes or shiploads of LNG. Of these, Petronet imported six cargoes from spot market by itself and an equal number were contracted by its promoters, GAIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC).
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