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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

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Shell to pump in Rs 3,000 cr for Hazira terminal — Looking for joint venture partners

Our Bureau

New Delhi , May 17

LOOKING for other revenue earning options from the Hazira project, Royal Dutch/Shell Group on Tuesday said that it plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore for setting up a container terminal.

The company is looking for joint venture partners for the project and is in talks with several players in the sector, including multinational companies, the Director (Gas & Power) of Shell India, Mr Marc den Hartog, said while talking to newspersons at an informal meeting.

He, however, refrained from elaborating on the exact structure of partnership as well as the players short-listed.

The total capacity of the terminal is expected to be 2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

He said, ``we are in discussion with Essar Steel for setting up a bulk cargo terminal at Hazira. The terminal would be for Essar's captive use.'' Modalities for the tie-up are being worked out, he added.

Shell is planning a special purpose vehicle, Hazira Port Pvt Ltd, for building the port terminals.

It has engaged Railway India Technical and Economic Services to study connectivity from the port to the Mumbai-Baroda trunk route. For the road development, it has tied-up with the Gujarat Government.

Regarding the commercial supplies of natural gas from its LNG terminal at Hazira, Mr Hartog said, "commercial supplies started on Saturday to our first customer being Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC)".

Currently, GSPC is the only customer Shell has. It has contracted to sell 0.7 million standard cubic metre per day of gas from its LNG import terminal to GSPC for 210 days at a price of $ 3.70 per million British thermal unit.

The Hazira project is the largest of Shell and Total Gaz Electricite Holdings, France, ventures in India and includes an LNG receiving and storage terminal.

The LNG terminal together with other infrastructure is laid out for a capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Though the initial throughput capacity is of the order of 2.5 mtpa, marginal incremental investment will enhance the capacity to 5 mtpa.

He also indicated that Shell was still interested in the Dhabol project.

"We are looking at how we can do it. But currently the interest is purely academic."

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