Indian liquefied natural gas imports increased for a fourth month of the current fiscal year as volumes received rose more than 9 percent with supplies coming from countries such as Angola in southwest Africa and traditional suppliers such as Qatar.
LNG imports during July came to 2.02 million tonnes (2.73 billion cubic metres) which was 9.1 percent higher than 1.85MT delivered in the same month of 2018.
The main operating terminals on India’s West Coast are at Dahej, Hazira and Dabhol, near Mumbai, and there is one East Coast terminal at Kamarajar, 25 kilometres north of Chennai Port in Tamil Nadu.
The cumulative LNG imports for the first four months of the fiscal year from April to July came to 7.88MT (10.65 Bcm), an increase of 6.6 percent compared with the 7.39MT received in the first four months if last year, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The July imports cost around $800 million versus $900M in July 2018. In the first four months of the fiscal year, the shipments have cost $3.1 billion compared with $3.4Bln in the same period last year.
Indian natural gas production during July edged 0.2 percent higher to 2.71 Bcm versus 2.04 Bcm in the same month of 2018.
Production of natural gas from April to July came to 10.74 Bcm, down 0.3 percent from the 10.78 logged in the April-July period last year.
Of the 30 or so cargoes delivered in July, Angola was a main supplier. The 160,400 cubic metres capacity carrier “Cubal” unloaded a cargo on July 1 at the Hazira terminal from the Angola plant at Soyo in southwest Africa.
The 160,500 cubic metres capacity vessel “Sonangol Benguela” delivered a shipment on July 16 to the Dahej terminal north of Mumbai from the Angolan plant.
The 160,400 cubic metres capacity vessel “Malanje” unloaded another Angolan cargo on July 24 at the Dahej terminal.
Analysts noted that India could easily import and use double its current capacity were it not for its lack of infrastructure.
On the terminal development front, Japanese company Toyo Engineering has been awarded a contract to construct another import terminal near Kodinar, north of Mumbai. This will be the seventh regasification facility on the West Coast when completed.
The facility will be located at Chhara port in Kodinar, part of the Gir Somnath district, and will have 5 million tonnes per annum of capacity.
The Indian Hiranandani Group recently said its floating LNG import facility at the West Coast port of Jaigarh would come on line before the end of 2019, a year behind schedule.
Its H-Energy subsidiary said the terminal would have annual capacity of 4 MTPA and would be capable of reloading LNG into other vessels.
The Jaigarh facility in the state of Maharashtra would be the fifth LNG import terminal near Mumbai.
The major natural gas consuming sectors for the combined LNG and domestic gas output in the last fiscal year were the fertilizer industry (29 percent), gas-fired power (21 percent), city-gas distribution (17 percent), refineries (13 percent) and petrochemicals (7 percent).