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India will start operating a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility in western Gujarat state by the end of next month, as part of the nation's steps to build infrastructure for a gradual rise in gas use.
The five million tonne a year LNG terminal is 75 per cent owned by the state while billionaire Gautam Adani-controlled Adani group holds the remainder.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the terminal at Mundra and a pipeline linking the import facility with the key trunk gas pipelines on Sunday, the state's chief secretary Jagdip Narayan Singh told Reuters. Mundra LNG terminal is the second import gas facility in Gujarat, the home state of Modi.
Gujarat State Petroleum Corp has bought an LNG cargo from Shell to commission the project, according to trade sources. "The terminal will start operations in the last week of October and it will take some time to reach full capacity ...about a year," Singh told Reuters.
Modi will also inaugurate a gas pipeline linking Vendanta Ltd's Barmer block in the desert state of Rajasthan to the national gas grid, Singh said. In India many power plants and small industries like ceramic, glass and cement makers rely heavily on more expensive or dirtier fuels such as naphtha, diesel and coal.
New Delhi made a commitment in the Paris Agreement to reduce the emission intensity of the economy by one-third and to have at least 40 per cent electric power installed capacity from clean energy sources by 2030.
India's gas demand is constrained by low domestic output; inadequate LNG import terminals and a pipeline network that does not reach enough customers.
Against the estimated gas demand of 494 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) in the fiscal year to March 2018, India consumed about 144.75 mmscmd gas with about half of that met through imported LNG, according to the government data.
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