Adani offers Dhamra LNG proj’s 49% stake to IOC, GAIL
Adani Group has offered 49 per cent stake in its Rs 5,000-crore Dhamra LNG project in Odisha to state-run gas utility GAIL India and refiner Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Adani has formally written to the two state-owned firms offering them 49 per cent stake in the 5 million tonnes a year liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal planned at Dhamra by 2018-19, sources privy to the development said.
IOC had last year signed up to use 60 per cent of the terminal capacity for importing gas for its refineries at Haldia in West Bengal and Paradip in Odisha. GAIL too had signed up for 1.5 million tonnes of the terminal’s regassification capacity. The two firms have agreed to take equity in the project but they are yet to decide on the proportion in which the 49 per cent stake would be split, sources said.
GAIL and IOC were initially bargaining for 50 per cent stake in the project but Adani wanted to retaining controlling 51 per cent interest. Equity in Adani terminal follows GAIL in March last year dropping plans to set up a floating LNG import terminal at Paradip. IOC too had in 2012 signed an MoU with Dhamra LNG Port Corp Ltd (DPCL) to develop a LNG terminal at the port. After shelving their respective plans, the firms in May last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dhamra LNG Terminal Pvt Ltd, a firm owned by Adani Enterprises, for 5 million tonnes a year LNG import terminal. Dhamra will be the sixth LNG project announced on the east coast.
While GAIL has dropped plans of a four million tonnes project at Paradip, Petronet LNG Ltd -- a firm in which GAIL and IOC are promoters -- has cold-storage plans to set up a five million tonnes a year LNG import facility at Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh.
GAIL, along with GdF and Shell, has proposed a 3.5 million tonnes floating LNG terminal at Kakinada while IOC is building a five million tonnes facility at Ennore in Tamil Nadu. Real estate player Hiranandani Group plans to set up a Rs 2,400 crore, 4 million tonnes floating LNG import terminal off Haldia in West Bengal. With GAIL, which owns and operates bulk of the nation’s cross country pipelines, and IOC, whose refineries are a big user of gas, joining Dhamra, the fate of LNG terminals in Andhra Pradesh is uncertain. Dhamra can meet all of the demand in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Dhamra port in Bhadrak district of Odisha is an all-weather deep water port, sources said. GAIL had in October 2013 signed an MoU with the Paradip Port Trust for setting up of the LNG import terminal.
While the port was to invest Rs 650 crore on breakwater and dredging, GAIL was to invest Rs 2,458 crore for the 4 million tonnes terminal which can be expanded to 10 million tonnes. The plan was, however, dropped in March last year.