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    Infraline Energy reports indicate the requirement of over 500mmcbmd of gas in 12th -13 th plan for power generation. While this itself is based on allocation requested, the potential demand will be higher. In addition to this, another 200 – 500 mmcbmd would be required for industries as fuel and as feed stock.

    The offshore and on shore gas availability will be way below this demand for all time to come. We will be importing 90% of our liquid fuels in the form of crude for all time to come. We need to substitute oil by gas for reasons of economy and ecology

    Therefore large gas imports are necessary. A point to remember here is the cost of gas in middle east is as low as $ 1 / mbtu as these are huge deposits and were commercialized way back at low cost. Our additional offshore / onshore gas will cost us more and more. Even today both RIL and ONGC are stating that EGOM price of $ 4.20 per mbtu is inadequate for the new productions. The strategy should be to establish new commercial deposits under our sovereign control and use the same as bargaining tool for getting cheap gas from Middle east – Qatar / Iran. One must remember that the middle east gas producers are totally dependent on their gas revenue . This revenue will go down as USA will resort to more and more of on shore gas and Alaskan LNG. Japan and Europe will depend more and more on Russian gas from Sakhalin,Stockman and Yamal gas fields, mainly by pipelines.. Both Iran and Qatar along with other gas rich middle east countries have to look to India for generating their revenue. Qatar in particular, will be in deep trouble with its LNG trains for 70 million tons per year. India should be able to bargain a good low gas import price from middle east.

    An important aspect of this issue of importing gas is our preoccupation with the concept of LNG and on shore storage/ regasification . This would involve investment on land and billions of dollars coupled with high gate cost for the gas. India can never afford the infrastructure cost required without sacrificing other important areas such as roads, communication and other social welfare needs.

    The simple workable solution is to float LNG carriers with on board regasification to pump gas to shore grid. These LNG carriers (FSRU) can be chartered thus avoiding high investment in ships. These FSRUs do not need even port facilities as they can operate from offshore turret mounting and pushing gas through submarine pipelines. While this will reduce the investment on land / shore terminals, save time and environmental hassles, the gas price will not come down very much as the cost of liquefaction and regasification is built in. Such offshore LNG operation currently is in operation in over 20 locations all over the world. A number of them are in USA offshore, Brazil , Argentina, Italy , UAE and other locations.Such facility can be operational in one year with chartered tankers. In USA , the offshore FSRUs are in the Gulf of Mexico, off New York , Boston and L.A.

    Such FSRUs in the Gulf of Kutch, Inner Mumbai port ( JNPT) , Ennore, and other locations can increase our power availability, within a short span of time.

    An alternate solution is to import natural gas as Natural gas in CNG form. This will reduce the cost of gas significantly as there is no liquefaction and regasification involved. Given below are more details on CNG imports.

    TECHNOLOGY: There are globally six technologies by six companies – Enersea( steel vertical pipes, SeaN NG Corporation(Coselle), Knutsen( steel vertical) CETech ( steel horizontal), TransCanada, &Transocean. The carrying capacity can be from 5 mmcbm to 50 mmcbm, in vessels which are general cargo vessels.
    The vessel size – Aframax- Panamax – up to 60000 dwt. Stored in large diameter pipe tiers contained in nitrogen filled cold box OR in heavier containers at ambient temperature. Gas pressure – 150- 3600 psi. gas temp – 10 deg c in votran ( enersea – K line)

    Use of chartered vessels to reduce capital cost. Large number of vessels can be used for gas imports into Gulf of Kutch, east /west coast.

    For example, for a power plant of 2000 M.W. on the coast of Gulf of Kutch, we will require 10 million cbm of gas per day. A fleet of chartered vessels can discharge at multiple discharge points to maintain uninterrupted supplies. Loading can be in Ras Laffan,Qatar. Or , if gas can be brought to Oman coast on land route by linking with Dolphin pipeline system, CNG loading can be from Oman coast.

    Earlier, GAIL had received offers from several companies for such transportation by sea of CNG from Myanmar to East coast of India – did not progress further as the gas was given to China. IN fact GAIL would be a suitable support for this additioal low cost gas and low cost infrastructure at short gestation.

    These are conceptual to be developed , but based on proven technology.

    In this method gas will be available at $4.20 / mmbtu or even lower.


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