The Dabhol LNG import terminal in Maharashtra has received a shipload of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a gap of six months.

Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL) received a spot cargo from Nigeria on Sunday.

“It was the sixth successful unloading of LNG cargo since commissioning (of the terminal) in January,” RGPPL Deputy Managing Director A K Jana said.

LNG carrier Iberica Knutsen, with a capacity of about 135,000 cubic meters, discharged the cargo at Dabhol on Sunday, he said. The vessel had loaded the gas at Nigeria LNG Ltd’s Bonny Island facility.

The 5 million ton-a-year capacity LNG terminal was half ready when original builder and US energy major Enron Corp went bankrupt. The terminal and adjacent power plant were taken over in 2005 by RGPPL - a joint venture of state gas utility GAIL India and NTPC.

GAIL is now seeking another cargo from the spot market for January delivery at Dabhol.

Dabhol, about 340 km south of Mumbai, is India’s oldest LNG import facility and one of four such terminals in the country, Asia’s fourth-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas.

“As on date, global LNG suppliers like Gazprom, GdF, Shell, Sonatrach and GnF have successfully brought their cargoes at Dabhol terminal,” Mr. Jana said, adding that the terminal has now received LNG from BG Group, RasGas of Qatar and Nigeria LNG.

The shipment from Nigeria was the first imported by Dabhol after the monsoon.

Mr. Jana said RGPPL plans to build a breakwater at Dabhol port by 2016. In the absence of the breakwater, which guards ships against high tides, the terminal could operate at about 60 per cent of its capacity, with operations shut during the monsoon.

The contract for building a breakwater will be awarded by January, he said. “On completion, the terminal would be able to handle more than 80 cargoes in a year.”

GAIL owns 31.52 per cent stake in RGPPL - the owner of the 1,967 MW power plant and the adjacent LNG import terminal.

GAIL completed the plant in late 2010 and dredging work of the sea channel leading to Dabhol port was ready last year.

The company, as the commercial operator, has underwritten the re-gasification capacity of the Dabhol terminal for 25 years for lending support to the project.

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