India vows to resolve the gas crisis in South Asia, with Petronet LNG – an oil and gas company formed by the Indian government to import liquefied natural gas and set up LNG terminals – spreading its wings in neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Managing Director Petronet Prabhat Singh recently said that the private company, owned by state-run oil firm, is working together with Dhaka and Colombo for building terminals that would stock imported gas. One terminal is being set up at Kutbdia near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and another in Sri Lanka. According to Singh, the Bangladeshi terminal will have the capacity to import and regassify five million tonnes of liquid gas, while the Sri Lankan terminal is envisaged with an initial capacity of one million tonne.
Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi a couple of days ago, Singh said that a delegation of Petronet executives and Indian Petroleum Ministry officials would visit Bangladesh on July 23 to discuss various aspects of the project with the Sheikh Hasina administration. He informed the press that the Bangladeshi government recently short-listed Petronet, Shell and Mitsui for implementing another such project at Matar Bari in Chittagong.
Meanwhile, Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who visited Dhaka last month, told reporters: “We would also like to involve GAIL, the state-run gas utility and one of Petronet promoters, for sourcing gas for the projects.” The minister appreciated the Bangladeshi government’s efforts to implement these projects.
As far as Petronet LNG is concerned, the company has long-term gas import contracts with Qatar. It is also taking part in Australia’s Gorgon LNG project. Currently, the company operates two terminals – Dahej in western Indian province of Gujarat and Kochi in southern province of Kerala. In the last couple of years, Petronet has emerged as an ideal partner for Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan companies due to its expertise in LNG shipping. Senior Petronet officials believe that they can resolve the gas crisis in South Asia by working jointly with neighbouring countries.