India’s third liquefied natural gas import terminal will receive its first shipment this month from Norway, two people with knowledge of the transaction said.
The so-called commissioning cargo, which will be used to prepare the site for commercial operations, will be delivered by Excelerate Energy LLC to GAIL India Ltd.’s Dabhol terminal, on the country’s west coast, on about March 27, one of the people said, declining to be identified because the information is confidential. The LNG carrier, called Excelerate, loaded last week at Statoil ASA’s Snohvit LNG plant in the Barents Sea off Norway and is bound for Dabhol, both people said. The ship is currently in the Mediterranean Sea heading east.
India is increasing LNG imports after Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Ltd. missed production targets at the Krishna Godavari gas field off India’s east coast. The Dabhol terminal will have an initial annual capacity of 1.5 million metric tons and plans to expand that to 4 million tons. Commissioning cargoes are used to cool the terminal’s equipment down to operating temperatures of minus 161 degrees Celsius (minus 258 degrees Fahrenheit) before commercial shipments can begin.
Regular supplies of three to four LNG cargoes a month will start at Dabhol in April, GAIL Chairman B.C. Tripathi said in New Delhi on February 3. GAIL is India’s biggest gas distributor. India’s two existing LNG terminals are at Hazira and Dahej, both north of Mumbai, on the west coast. Petronet LNG Ltd. plans to start the country’s fourth, at Kochi, in the second half of this year. Excelerate Energy, a U.S.-based LNG trader, is half-owned by RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest utility.