Jan 4, 2014, 11:24 PM
News Code: 80979742
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PM: Asian LNG buyers come together to demand fair pricing

New Delhi, Jan 4, IRNA -- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday called upon major Asian buyers of LNG to come together to demand a fair pricing mechanism for gas being imported from outside of continent as the region has been a driver of the global LNG demand in recent times.

'Asia has been the driver of the global LNG demand in recent times. It is therefore important that major buyers of LNG in Asia come together to demand a fair pricing mechanism for gas being imported from outside of Asia,' Singh said while dedicating to the nation the Rs 4,500 crore Petronet LNG terminal at nearby Puthyvype in Kochi in Kerala state, pti reported. The Prime Minister expressed hope that India would contribute towards an effort of this kind in the future.

'Our country has less than one percent of the world's known natural gas reserves. Therefore for augmenting the supply of natural gas in our energy mix, we must necessarily import natural gas either by by setting up LNG terminals or through trans-national pipelines,' he said.

Import of natural gas and pricing the imported gas constitute challenges that we must meet successfully in the time to come, he added.

Pointing out that the terminal should be utilised to its fullest capacity, Singh urged the agencies concerned to do everything possible to ensure this.

Petronet LNG has already tied up to supply 14.4 lakh tonnes of LNG per year for the Kochi terminal from the Gorgon project in Australia for a 20 year period, he said adding the company was also at an advanced stage of discussion with other LNG suppliers for long-term contracts.

To make full use of the large investment in this project, the focus should be on increasing penetration of natural gas in Kerala by augmenting the pipeline network as done in the northern and western parts of the country. There was also need to explore how industrial units could make greater use of natural gas, he said.

Singh also urged the state government and the Petroleum ministry to pay attention to rolling out city gas distribution networks in the state so that gas could reach a much larger number of households.

He urged Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily to coordinate with all stakeholders, including Ministry of Power, to ensure realisation of full potential of the Kochi terminal.

'I am confident that in the coming years this terminal will prove to be of immense benefit to your beautiful state and help it in realising its enormous potential,' he said, adding it would put Kochi on the world LNG map and contribute to making Kerala an industry oriented and investor friendly destination.

'It will contribute to our efforts to promote clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. It will help in protecting Kerala's environment, green cover and natural beauty', the Prime Minister said.

The world class facility would provide South India with a cleaner and greener form of energy and cater to energy needs of industries in a diverse range of areas across the southern states.

A whole new industrial corridor is expected to come up along the gas pipeline route. The terminal is also expected to meet the energy needs for transport and households in cities as it can process as much as 50 lakh tonnes of LNG in a year.

Chandy assured that all stakeholders will cooperate in removing the bottlenecks with regard to the completion of pipelines and promised full support of his government.

Pointing out that gas was no longer a commodity used by the rich and was the most common fuel of ordinary people, he said price of gas affects the common man. He urged the Prime Minister to consider whether fixing of gas prices should be left to oil companies alone.