With the commissioning of Petronet LNG's Kochi terminal on Thursday, Kerala now has its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
The five million tonne terminal, built with an investment of Rs 4,200 crore, will cater to the energy requirements of industries in Kerala and other southern states. The terminal received its commissioning cargo from RasGas Qatar LNG, which supplies 7.5 million tonnes of LNG to Petronet's Dahej terminal annually.
Commercial supplies from the terminal is expected to start in a week's time. Plants of Fertilizer and Chemicals Travancore and Kochi refinery of BPCL will be among the first consumers of R-LNG from the Kochi terminal, said a statement from Petronet LNG, the country's biggest gas importer.
However, the company is concerned that only the first phase of GAIL's pipeline network covering is complete. It caters to limited industrial areas of the city of Kochi.
What this means is that the terminal would start its operations with less than 10 per cent of its installed capacity. Covering over 900km, the pipeline from Kochi to Kootanad in Palakkad district and from Bangalore to Mangalore is being laid down by GAIL. It now stands delayed.
The availability of R-LNG is expected to pave the way for meeting the aspirations of the household segment of Kochi city. It would function as piped natural gas in homes. Similarly, the transportation sector will greatly benefit by switching over to this clean energy, hitherto enjoyed by Delhi, Mumbai and some cities in Gujarat.
The impact of availability of R-LNG in the state is multi-fold.
Easy availability of re-gasified LNG will open up opportunities in the power sector, paving the way for other gas-based power projects.
LNG will draw greater investor interest in Kerala and neighbouring states. The availability of this gas will spur the revival of a number of major industries. In fact, a whole new industrial corridor be developed along the gas pipeline route.
Commercial and transportation sectors stand to benefit from the usage of this clean fuel. It will give thrust to the ongoing efforts in making Kerala an industry-oriented, investor-friendly destination in the country.