Amidst the looming uncertainty over widening the LNG bulk consumer base in Kerala, Petronet LNG Limited is going ahead with the import of yet another consignment of natural gas into its terminal here. The new vessel carrying LNG will reach the terminal at Puthuvype island on Wednesday, according officials of the company.
The vessel carrying natural gas from Qatar will be the third in the series of LNG carriers that have reached Kochi since the terminal commenced operations last year. The vessel, carrying about 140,000 cubic metre of LNG, will be offloaded within a day. BPCL Kochi is the only major consumer of natural gas now. FACT, which had begun making use of the gas, has stopped receiving gas on account of higher prices. The industrial unit, which had been receiving subsidy on naphtha, the fuel on which the plant had been running prior to the induction of LNG, failed to get similar concessions on the use of natural gas.
FACT, enmeshed in economic trouble, has been maintaining that the functioning of the unit using the new fuel at the present rate would render the unit more unviable.
A prolonged strike demanding gas at affordable rates has not yielded results yet, but the new government at the Centre is expected to initiate measures to ensure smooth running of the fertiliser unit. Such a step would ensure flow of LNG to the plant once again.