Petronet LNG, on Friday, said its LNG import terminal at Kochi in Kerala would be commissioned by the first quarter of 2013 calendar year.

Talking to reporters here, Petronet LNG CEO and Managing Director A. K. Balyan said the Kochi terminal would operate only to less than a fifth of its 5 million tonnes a year capacity as the offtake infrastructure was not yet ready.

GAIL (India) is laying pipelines connecting the Kochi terminal to consumers in two phases — the first phase connecting four consumers like Kochi refinery and FACT Tranvancore would be completed by December-end. Upon this, the Kochi LNG terminal would be commissioned but it would operate at only 0.5-1 million tonnes capacity for the first year due to limitation of gas offtake, he added. The second-leg of the pipeline, which would connect Kochi to Bangalore and Mangalore, was expected to be completed by next year-end, he said adding the Kochi terminal would operate at full capacity thereafter.

The company reported its highest quarterly profit at Rs.315 crore in the July-September period on the back of better margins and operational efficiency.

Profit up 21 %

Mr. Balyan said the net profit rose by 21 per cent to Rs.315 crore from Rs.260 crore a year ago. “We operated the 10 million tonnes a year Dahej import terminal at 106 per cent capacity during the quarter,” he added. Volumes imported remained flat at 135 trillion British thermal units but there was a 5 per cent increase in margin it gets on turning the liquid gas (LNG) back into its gaseous state.

The turnover soared 41 per cent to Rs.7,549 crore. The company had a forex gain of Rs.114 crore against a loss of Rs.52.6 crore, year-on-year. Petronet, which is in expansion mode, will commission its second import terminal at Kochi in Kerala by the first quarter of 2013 calendar year. The Dahej facility will be expanded to 15 million tonnes by 2015 and a third terminal is being planned at Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh.