India needs to triple regas capacity: Petronet LNG
India needs to triple its LNG import and regasification capacity in order to meet the projected increase in demand for gas in coming years, Akshay Kumar Singh, CEO of Petronet LNG, told the ET Energy Leadership summit on June 17.
Singh said that in order to meet the growing demand for natural gas and LNG, there is a need to enhance import capacity to around 155mn metric tons/year in the near future, considering 80% utilisation, against the capacity of 42.5mn mt/yr today. He added that even if the 19mn mt/yr of capacity under construction is taken into consideration, the total comes to only 61.5mn mt/yr.
India is aiming to increase the share of gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from 6% today. Singh said in order to achieve this target, India's gas consumption should rise to 640mn m3/day from 155m m3/day at present.
With domestic gas supplies not expected to see any major increase, the role of imported LNG will continue to be significant in the Indian gas sector, he said. The country's dependence on imported gas will rise to 70% in the next nine to 10 years versus about 55% today, Singh added.
Petronet, India's biggest gas importer, operates two import terminals in India: one in the western Indian state of Gujarat and the other in the southern state of Kerala.
Petronet sees big potential for LNG in the long haul trucking sector and plans to build 1,000 LNG filling stations going forward. “The use of LNG in long haul trucks has huge potential of displacing liquid fuels. Every year, around 400,000 new long haul trucks and buses are added on Indian roads, and 100,000 trucks and buses have the potential of consuming around 2.7mn mt/yr LNG,” Singh said.
The Indian petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in November last year that the country hopes to have 1,000 LNG filling stations along its major highways at intervals of a few hundred km in the next three years. The first 50 will be set up and commissioned in partnership with state companies such as Indian Oil Corp, BPCL, HPCL, Gail, Petronet LNG, Gujarat Gas. Indian Oil will set up 20 stations, while BPCL and HPCL will set up 11 each.
Last year, the Indian downstream regulator Petroleum Natural Gas Regulatory Board said that any entity could set up an LNG filling station in any geographical area, removing any doubt about the question.