Pipeline Construction, LNG Terminal Start-Up Delayed in India

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indian natural gas company H-Energy Pvt Ltd will delay the start of its LNG import terminal at Jaigarh to the fourth quarter of 2019, the company's Chief Executive Officer Darshan Hiranandani said on Wednesday.

H-Energy, a unit of real estate group Hiranandani, initially aimed to start full commercial operations at the new floating LNG terminal at Jaigarh, on India's west coast, by the fourth quarter of 2018, but later pushed this back to the first quarter of this year.

The terminal is a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) capable of handling 4 million tons per year of LNG.

It will connect to the national gas grid at Dabhol through a 36-mile pipeline that is expected to also be ready by the fourth quarter, according to a presentation by Hiranandani at an LNG conference in Singapore.

Monsoon rains and the Indian elections have delayed the start-up of the terminal, he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

The company is also building a 400-mile pipeline connecting Jaigarh to Mangalore, which will likely be ready by 2023, he said. Work on that pipeline has also been moving slower than initially expected due to a road highway widening in the region, he said.

On the east coast of India, H-Energy is developing a terminal using an offshore floating storage unit in Andhra Pradesh.

The company aims for that project to serve as an “LNG hub” for other LNG projects in the region including the Kukrahati LNG terminal in West Bengal that it is also developing.

The contract for the Andhra Pradesh FSU is expected to be awarded by end of this year, he said.

The Kukrahati LNG terminal will have an initial capacity of 3 million tons per year and will be connected through a gas pipeline to Shrirampur, near the Bangladesh border in the Nadia district of West Bengal.

The pipeline will supply natural gas to power customers in West Bengal and Bangladesh, he said.

Both the projects in the eastern coast of India as well as the pipeline connecting to Bangladesh are expected to be ready by mid-2022.

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