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India Seeks LNG From Qatar To Restart Dabhol Project

Source: Asia Pulse 6/21/2005, Location: Middle East

India Monday sought fuel from Qatar to restart the US$2.9 billion Dabhol power project in Maharashtra. New Delhi is seeking one million tones per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar to fire the 740 MW Phase-I and the nearly complete 1444 MW Phase-II of the project.

"We have sought conversion of the present supplies of 5 million tones per annum of LNG into 7.5 million tones. We have also indicated additional requirement for the Dabhol project," Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar told reporters after meeting visiting Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud here.

Petronet LNG Ltd, a company promoted by state-owned GAIL (India) Ltd (BSE:532155), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) (NSI:ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (BSE:530965) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BSE:500547), has contracted 7.5 million tones per annum of LNG from RasGas of Qatar.

It is presently importing 5 million tones at Dahej in Gujarat and is negotiating supply schedule of the remaining 2.5 milion tonnes.

Besides Qatar, India is also courting Australia for sourcing LNG for the Dabhol power project which has been lying idle for over three years now following a bitter payment row with its main customers, Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

"We propose to scale of LNG imports from Qatar to 20 million tones in phases by 2015," Aiyar said.

Also to figure in disussions were the Gulf-South Asia pipeline project that is to supply gas from Qatar to Pakistan and its possible extension to India.

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