Plans to have the LNG import facilities at Kakinada operational by 2014-end

GAIL (India), on Thursday, announced that it planned to have the LNG import facilities at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh operational by 2014-end and said another such terminal was being planned either in West Bengal or along the Odisha coast.

Investment

Talking to reporters, Chairman B.C. Tripathi said GAIL had drawn up plans to invest Rs.7,500 crore this fiscal, of which Rs.4,000 crore would come by way of borrowings. The company raised Rs.625 crore in debt in the first quarter, and was planning a rupee bond issue of Rs.1,000 crore in September-October.

GAIL has 12.5 per cent stake in Petronet LNG, which operates a 10 million tonnes LNG terminal at Dabhol and is about to commission a 5 million tonnes a year facility at Kochi in Kerala next month. Dabhol has a capacity to import 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG but in the absence of a breakwater, its operating capacity is limited to 3-3.5 million tonnes due to it not being operational during monsoon season. “We have taken up 2.5 million tonnes out of the 5 million tonnes additional capacity planned at Dahej,’’ he added.

GAIL reported a 29 per cent drop in first quarter net profit as it transported less gas while its LPG margins shrunk on drying up of supplies from Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 gas fields. The net profit in the April-June quarter at Rs.808.17 crore was 28.7 per cent lower than Rs.1,133.78 crore in the same period a year ago, Mr. Tripathi said. “The major reason for the decline in net profit is lower gas transmission volumes, fall in trading volumes and LPG segment posting loss,” he added.

GAIL transported 99 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of gas during April-June, down from 110 mmscmd a year ago. Its trading volumes fell after BG Group-operated Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields in Western offshore saw production drop to 6.9 mmscmd from 10.3 mmscmd. The KG-D6 gas supplies to its LPG plants dried up as output at the Eastern offshore gas fields fell to an all-time low of 14 mmscmd.

Petrochem prices

Mr. Tripathi said petrochemical prices were little changed from Rs.86,000 a tonne while LPG rates dropped 11 per cent to Rs.48,000 a tonne from Rs.54,000 in the first quarter of last fiscal. GAIL sourced seven ship loads or cargoes of LNG during the quarter and is targeting 34 cargoes during the entire fiscal.

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