Petronet to make foray into petchem business, plans LNG terminal in Odisha

Petronet LNG Ltd, India's largest gas importer, plans to set up a petrochemical complex at Dahej in Gujarat as it looks to make a foray into high margin business to hedge gas trading risks, Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor said.

Petronet, which owns and operates to terminals at Dahej and Kochi in Kerala for import of super-cooled gas in ships, is also looking at setting up a floating terminal at Gopalpur port in Odisha, Kapoor, who is also chairman of the company, said.

In the firm's largest annual report, Kapoor said Petronet "is embarking upon a major diversification drive to broad base its business activity and is exploring to have an ethane/ propane import facility at Dahej terminal."

Petronet "has also planned for setting up of a petrochemical complex based on imported propane at Dahej LNG Terminal", he said. "The foray into petrochemicals would be a forward integration of our strategy as the same planned to get synchronised with our upcoming third jetty project and available land bank at Dahej."

He, however, did not give details of the planned petrochemical complex including investment and size of the plant.

Petrochemicals, made using crude and natural gas as feedstock, form raw material for plastics, packaging material, and personal care products.

In terms of volume, the petrochemical market in India stood at 42.50 million tonnes and is estimated to reach 49.62 million tonnes by 2025, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.14 per cent between FY 2021 and FY 2025.

Using ethane, plastics and detergents can be made; while propane can give plastic.

Petronet is 50 per cent owned by state-owned refiners Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd and oil and gas producer ONGC. The four companies sit on board of the company, which is headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Kapoor said Petronet is exploring the possible business opportunities from harnessing the cold energy from its regasification terminals at Dahej and Kochi.

"Harnessing LNG's cold energy not only maximises re-gasification terminals' potential but also offers an opportunity to cut emissions in cold warehousing chain simultaneously adding value and improving energy efficiency," he said.

After establishing a presence in the southern and western parts of the country, Petronet is now planning to set up a floating LNG terminal at Gopalpur port in Odisha with a view to establishing its presence on the eastern coast of India, he said.

"The LNG terminal will help meet the increasing gas demand of the eastern and central part of the country," he said.

He added that Petronet has already completed the pre-project studies and is in process of preparing the Detailed Feasibility Report (DFR) for 4 million tonnes per annum floating storage & regasification (FSRU) terminal followed by a pre-feasibility report for a 5 million tonnes land-based terminal in future.

Petronet, he said, "has signed MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Gopalpur Ports Ltd and is in discussion with them to finalise the key technical and commercial terms of the agreements".

Without giving investment details or timelines for the project implementation, he said the firm is in process of obtaining the final investment decision for the project.

Dahej terminal is the largest import facility in the country, with a nameplate capacity of 17.5 million tonnes per annum. Kochi terminal is a 5 million tonnes nameplate capacity but it operates at a fraction of capacity in absence of pipelines to take the fuel to customers.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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