Wilenergy, the LNG vessel carrying natural gas from Qatar to Kochi, is still anchored off Kochi port. The vessel will be berthed at the offloading terminal after completion of desilting operations under way there. The desilting, being carried out by two dredgers, will continue on Tuesday, officials of Petronet LNG Limited said.

The vessel could not berth at the LNG facility owing to the large-scale deposit of silt brought by heavy monsoon rain and rough seas. The desilting operations will ensure adequate depth for the 283- metre-long vessel, with a width of 50 metres and draught 11.2 metre, to be berthed.

The vessel has arrived in accordance with the supply arrangement as per an agreement signed between Petronet LNG Limited and RasGas, the natural gas supplier based in Qatar. Wilenergy, built in 1983, and carrying the Marshall Island flag, has a gross tonnage of 10,2390 and dead weight of 7,055 tonnes. It had left Ras Laffan port, Qatar, five days ago.

The natual gas, which is in liquefied state, at a temperature of about minus 160 degree Celsius, will be converted into gas at the terminal and regasified LNG will be supplied to end-users. Petronet LNG will supply gas to BPCL Kochi and FACT, which have made arrangements to receive gas, in the initial stage.

It will take about a week for the entire gas to be offloaded in the initial stage as several tests will have to be carried out at the terminal before the gas is dispatched to the consumers through the pipeline.

GAIL India, which had undertaken the pipe-laying facility to carry gas to consumers, has completed the link to the two industrial units. The pipeline connection to Bangalore and Mangalore is being taken up so as to carry natural gas to many other industries in the future.

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