Uncertainty over LNG terminal
By P.N.V. Nair
The proposed mega LNG terminal, awaiting environmental clearance for the last two years, is one of the key projects in the development of Kakinada port. The agreement for the Rs 19,400 crore project was signed between the AP government and the Kakinada Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, which consists of IOC, ONGC, BP Asia-Pacific Inc., Petronas and Kakinada Seaports Pvt. Ltd.
Originally, the terminal was proposed to be set up on Hope Island, about 6 km into the sea. But the site has been shifted to the shore after the Ministry of Environment and Forests refused to give clearance to the project. Now, even on the shore, the project seems to be facing many a hurdle. While voices are raised against the terminal on ecological grounds, there is also dissatisfaction with the state government that it is not being open on the various implications of the project, especially with regard to the coastal regulatory zone regulations.
The LNG terminal is likely to be delayed further with the consortium yet to find assured customers for the 1,000-mw power plant linked to the LNG project. The fate of the project depends on striking substantial reserves of gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin. The LNG project is proposed to have a 10 million tonne per annum processing capacity. l