| NEW DELHI, July 11
NEW DELHI, July 11 India's biggest gas importer
Petronet LNG aims to spend up to $3 billion in the
next five years to expand overseas, setting up terminals in
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka among other countries, its managing
Falling spot LNG prices have boosted consumption of the fuel
in India and triggered demand for LNG infrastructure in
countries long shut out of the gas trade.
"We are thinking global and we are not looking inwardly only
at India ... we have potential and we should aim for 30
billion-40 billion rupees' ($445 million-$596 million) worth of
projects every year for five years," Prabhat Singh told Reuters
in an interview.
Petronet has previously just focused on importing liquefied
natural gas (LNG) for regasification at its plants at Dahej in
Western Gujarat state and at Kochi in the southern state of
Singh said the company plans to invest 50 billion rupees to
build a 5 million tonne a year (mtpa) terminal at Kutbdia in
Bangladesh and company officials would visit Bangladesh on July
23 to take the proposal forward. "We are hopeful of a favourable
response from them," he said.
Last month Petronet also submitted a proposal for a 1-mtpa
floating LNG terminal in Sri Lanka, which wants a gas link for
its 600-megawatt power plant, Singh said. That would require 13
billion rupees in investment, if approved by the Sri Lankan
Rising Indian demand for LNG has prompted Petronet to
operate its 10 mtpa Dahej plant at 120 percent capacity, meaning
it is regassifying and selling an additional 20 percent gas.
However, its Kochi plant is operating at a fraction of its
5-mtpa capacity as pipelines linking the terminal to industrial
clients are not ready yet.
India's current LNG consumption is about 58 million cubic
metres a day (mcmd), up from about 45 mcmd last year, Singh
said, and Petronet is on the lookout for overseas gas deals to
meet rising Indian demand.
Russia last month offered Petronet and other Indian
companies a stake in the second phase of its Yamal LNG project.
Singh said any deal with Russia would only be possible if
the price of LNG from Yamal matches the spot market, which is
flooded with cheaper supplies.
"India is a buyers' market and we will need lots of gas,
(but) the ... price needs to be to our satisfaction," he said.
Last year India renegotiated a long-term deal with Qatar's
RasGas to buy LNG at cheaper rates as local demand for the fuel
($1 = 67.1850 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Susan Fenton)