Bhubaneswar: State-run gas utility GAIL and Paradip Port Trust signed an MoU here Saturday for setting up of a Rs 3,108-crore offshore LNG terminal.
"Completion of this project will position Odisha on the global LNG map, heralding a new area in industrial development and employment generation and economic upliftment of the nation as a whole," Shipping Minister G K Vasan said on the occasion.
The project for Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) would have an initial capacity of four million tonne per annum (mtpa) in first phase, reaching a peak capacity of 4.8 mtpa, with a storage capacity of 170,000 cubic metres.
The first phase of the project is to become operational by 2017.
While the port would invest Rs 650 crore on breakwater and dredging, GAIL would invest Rs 2,458 crore. In the second phase, four mtpa capacity will be added (peak capacity- 4.8 mtpa), raising the terminal's total capacity to 8-10 mtpa.
Asking PSUs and private sector to come forward to develop LNG infrastructure in major ports, the Shipping Minister said considering the economic, social and environment impact, ports should become vehicles to serve the interests of the society.
The MoU for the ambitious project, perhaps the first of its kind on the eastern coast, was signed between Paradip Port Trust Chairman S S MIshra and executive director (business development), GAIL (India) Ltd Sanjib Datta.
On the port's performance, Vasan said. The traffic handled by the port up to September this year is the second highest in terms of cargo handled and also in terms of percentage growth of cargo amongst all major ports.
"The port has handled 34.12 million tonne of cargo during the first six months of the financial year compared to 25.63 million tonne during the last financial year, with a growth of 33.13 percent."
Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi expressed the hope that the port capacity would double to 1.2 billion tonnes by the end of 12th Plan. "About 90 percent of issues in PPP projects have been satisfactorily resolved," he said.
"The LNG terminal will position both Paradip and Odisha on the global map of LNG business. It will cater to the requirement of eastern, western and central parts of the country," the PPT chairman said.
Speaking on the occasion, the GAIL ED said the re-gasification unit will have a dedicated LNG jetty. Natural gas will be transported through GAIL's Jagdishpur-Haldia and Surat-Paradip pipelines.
India is currently the fourth largest consumer of gas and the share of natural gas in the country's primary energy market is poised to reach 22 percent by 2020 and 25 percent by 2035, he said.
First Published: Saturday, October 26, 2013, 18:16