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State-owned natural gas transporter and trader GAIL (India) Ltd, power producer NTPC Ltd and gas logistics company Petronet LNG Ltd are exploring plans to import natural gas from Australian companies, the details of which will be finalized in two months, said a statement quoting power minister Piyush Goyal, who is in Brisbane with officials for a bilateral energy dialogue.
Australia has about 2.8 trillion cubic metres or 2% of world gas reserves. It is also a major exporter of coal, gas and uranium with energy exports accounting for $71 billion in 2013-14.
Goyal urged Australian firms to supply gas at an affordable price considering the fact that India is looking to replace coal, which is abundantly available in India. “Since coal-based power is available in India at less than 5 cents per unit, LNG (liquified natural gas) providers should consider supplying gas to India at a price that is comparable,” the statement said.
India is also keen to access the country’s clean coal technologies to reduce carbon emissions from thermal power plants, which account for 70% of India’s 284 gigawatt power production.
Although gas is available in international spot markets at about $2 per million metric British thermal unit or less, cost of liquefaction, freight and re-gasification makes it twice as costly when it reaches consumers in India.
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