IOC to go slow on Kakinada LNG plant
By A Business Correspondent
Indian Oil Corporation's Rs 19,000-crore LNG terminal at Kakinada is likely to be delayed further with the IOC-led consortium yet to find assured customers for the 1,000-mw power plant at the LNG terminal. According to M.A. Pathan, Chairman, IOC, the consortium had still to firm up customers for the power from the LNG-fired plant. Though the consortium had signed a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh government for the LNG terminal in January 2001, it was still awaiting the Government of India's clearance for the project.
The other members of the consortium are ONGC and the Kakinada Seaports Ltd, which operates the deep-water port at Kakinada. Though the consortium is trying to rope in GAIL, the gas distribution company has adopted a wait-and-watch policy towards the project. According to GAIL's Finance Director J.K. Jain, "We are considering whether it will be viable to join the LNG project in view of the uncertain prospect of enough gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin. The fate of the project depends on striking substantial reserves of gas in the K-G basin."
The LNG project is proposed to have a 10-million tonne per annum processing capacity, besides the power plant. The first phase is estimated to cost Rs 5,600 crore.