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Petronet LNG may tie up with Australian company soon for LNG supply

G.K. Nair

The supply contract would be for 25 years and the price and mode of payment etc would be finalised during the next discussions

Kochi , May 3

Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) is expected to conclude a contract with an Australian company for supply of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG in a couple months for its proposed terminal here to be commissioned by end 2009.

PLL has been holding discussions with LNG suppliers in Malaysia and Australia for a long time and the seventh round of discussions would be held shortly with the latter, Mr Shyam Sunder, Director (Technical), told Business Line. The supply contract would be for 25 years and the price and mode of payment etc would be finalised during the next discussions, he said, adding discussions are also on with a Malaysian company.

However, the PLL board of directors, which met at Kumarakom in Kerala recently, is understood to have preferred the Australian company, a consortium of three major oil companies.

He said the bid package for the EPC contract for the 2.5 million tonne per annum terminal project with provision for expansion to 5 million tonne, prepared by the Engineers India Ltd, was being reviewed by the Japanese Consultants, Tokyo Gas, and its report is expected by mid-May. It would be supplied to the already short-listed four foreign companies for preparing and submitting their detailed estimate and techno-commercial proposal, he said. Meanwhile, for transportation of the LNG "initially we need two ships for Kochi and tenders would be floated soon", he said. He said that the site preparations at Puthuvypeen Island near here would be over by next month and other works would commence after the monsoon. PLL was formed by the Government of India to import LNG and set up LNG terminals in the country. It is a joint venture company promoted by GAIL (India) Ltd, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd with an authorised capital of Rs 1,200 crore.

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