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The future is looking bright for Petronet LNG’s Kochi terminal with its operating capacity registering a double digit growth for the first time since its commissioning in September 2013.
This was achieved because of the increased intake of natural gas by existing customers such as BPCL and FACT, T Neelakandan, Terminal Head, Petronet LNG, Ltd told BusinessLine .
The Rs. 4,200-crore terminal had been languishing at well below 10 per cent of its operating capacity. The rise in volume of gas being taken by BPCL after its Kochi Refinery expansion, combined with FACT resuming the intake of gas, enabled PLL to achieve a 15 per cent of the terminal capacity of 5 million tonnes a year for the first time.
Besides, the terminal is also supplying re-gasified LNG to six other customers in the district where pipelines exist, Neelakandan said.
The company has been making efforts to supply LNG directly to customers not connected through pipelines. Hindustan Lifecare in Thiruvananthapuram was the first customer who has been receiving LNG by road tankers and new customers, including Kerala Minerals and me
Other oil and gas marketing majors are now using the LNG terminal for supply of natural gas to their customers as far afield as Chennai and Bengaluru, he added. Petronet is looking at the possibility of fuelling the ferries of Kochi Water Metro with LNG, for which discussions have begun with Kochi Metro Rail Ltd.
MP Sukumaran Nair, Director, Centre for Green Technology & Management, pointed out that the low capacity utilisation of the terminal was due to the delay in establishing pipeline connectivity to Mangaluru and Bengaluru. The 503-km Kochi-Mangaluru line was beset by land acquisition issues.
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