Petronet LNG, India's biggest importer of gas in its liquid form, is mulling shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada and USA to meet the country's growing energy needs.
The company had last month signed an initial pact with Houston-based United LNG to buy 4 million tonnes (MT) of LNG per annum for 20 years beginning 2018.
"Petronet LNG is exploring the possibility for imports of LNG from Canada and USA," Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Friday.
She, however, did not give details.
The minister said state-owned gas utility GAIL India has "signed two long-term agreements for import of a total 5.8 million tonnes per annum of LNG from USA". These include a 3.5 MT a year contract with Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC and another 2.3 MT liquefaction capacity booked in the Cove Point LNG terminal project of Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP, she said.
India has three operational LNG import facilities a 10 MT unit at Dahej operated by Petronet, a 3.6 MT terminal of Shell-Total at Hazira in Gujarat, and a newly commissioned 5 million tonnes facility at Dahbol in Maharashtra.
Five million tonnes a year capacity terminal are being planned at Mundra in Gujarat, Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh and Ennore in Tamil Nadu, Lakshmi said, adding similar capacity terminal is also planned in Odisha. A 2-3 MT facility is also being mulled at Mangalore in Karnataka.
To a separate question, Lakshmi said at least five LNG import facilities are being considered by various companies on both east and west coast.