India to Receive Its Biggest LNG Cargo Ahead of U.S. Shipments

q-max lng carrier mozah
Q-Max LNG carrier, File Image: Nakilat

By Debjit Chakraborty

Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) — India will receive its biggest shipment of liquefied natural gas by ship next month as it prepares to import the fuel from North America.

The Q-Max LNG vessel, the largest in its class with a capacity of about 260,000 cubic meters, is expected to reach Dahej in western Gujarat state in the first week of December, Petronet LNG Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Ashok Kumar Balyan said in an interview. “We will receive the LNG cargo at our new jetty and will be supplied to Indian Oil Corp.,” he said.

State-run Gail India Ltd. has agreed to buy 3.5 million tons of LNG a year for two decades from Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal in western Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The New Delhi-based company also booked 2.3 million tons a year capacity in the Cove Point LNG liquefaction terminal at Lusby, Maryland. The shipments are expected to start in 2017 or 2018.

“India needs to build capabilities to receive bigger vessels,” said Ashish Sethia, head of Asia-Pacific gas and power analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “This is a crucial infrastructure as it builds appetite for more and more LNG from distant markets.”

In April, Petronet signed a short-term contract with Qatar’s Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co. to import 800,000 tons of LNG over 12 months to supply Indian Oil refineries.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.