SINGAPORE - India's H-Energy Pvt Ltd, a unit of real estate group Hiranandani, aims to start full commercial operations at a new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal by the fourth quarter of this year, a company official said on Wednesday.
The terminal, known as a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), will be berthed at India's west coast port of Jaigarh, also the starting point for a 635 kilometre coastal pipeline that H-Energy is building to open up new gas markets.
The FSRU, leased from French group Engie and the first of its kind in India, will arrive in early May, said Alpen Gandhi, general manager of H-Energy's commercial department. Gandhi was speaking on the sidelines of the LNG Asia Pacific Congress held in Singapore.
The 4 million tonnes per year (mmtpa) terminal may be expanded to a land-based one with a bigger capacity once it stabilises, he said. The FSRU will regasify the LNG shipped from multiple before transferring it onshore.
India has four terminals to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) and imports around 20 million tonnes of the super-chilled fuel a year. But over the next seven years the government plans to build another 11 terminals, Narendra Taneja, spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said earlier this year.
H-Energy's Chief Executive Darshan Hiranandani told Reuters last year his firm has invested 17 billion rupees ($261 million) in building the terminal.
The company is currently in discussions with several potential LNG suppliers, Gandhi said on Wednesday. He decline to identify the companies.
Earlier this year H-Energy's trading office in Dubai signed a sale and purchase agreement with Malaysia's Petronas.
H-Energy is also conducting a feasibility study to build an LNG terminal off the coast of Kolkata in the Bay of Bengal, catering to some of the demand from the Kolkata region and from Bangladesh, Gandhi said.
"It's a totally different concept and will take some time," he said.