Mumbai: Last year, India imported between 6.5 and 7 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) of LNG.
‘This year it could go over 13 mmtpa, according to analysts. “We expect the demand for LNG to be far greater this year than what it was last year on account of a shortfall in domestic gas supply,” a senior official from Royal Dutch Shell, India, told on the condition of anonymity. “The overall economic slowdown in the West will favour LNG supplies to India as new capacities are also being commissioned the world over,” he added. Shell and Total are operators of the Hazira LNG terminal in Gujarat with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes (mt) a year. Shell completed ‘de-bottlenecking’ of its terminal in December, increasing its capacity to 3.6 mt per year. Historically, LNG demand has largely emanated from the Asia-Pacific region, primarily due to Japanese and South Korean requirements, which account for over 50 per cent of the world LNG trade. “With falling industrial demand coupled with the fall in crude oil prices, spot demand from these two regions has suffered,” said a senior official from Gujarat State Petronet Ltd. India is a gas deficit country. Power and fertiliser plants consume 70 per cent of the gas available in the country.