Dabhol LNG Terminal, India

Ratnagiri Gas and Power (RGP) is building India's third LNG import and re-gasification terminal at Dabhol in Maharashtra, India.

The terminal will initially have a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per year, which will be eventually ramped up to 5mtpa.

The terminal was mechanically completed by December 2010. It is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2011 after several delays. The project will operate at full capacity during 2013-14. An investment of $641m was made in the construction of the new terminal.

The LNG terminal was originally planned for the purpose of feeding the Dabhol gas-fired power plant located near the terminal. Approximately 2.1mtpa of the terminal's capacity is to be used by the 1,980MW power plant. The rest will be sold to industries on a tolling basis.

The Dabhol LNG terminal will fulfil part of the country's demand of 170m standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) of gas. Current gas supply in India is estimated to be 140mscmd.

In October 2010, Indian gas firm Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) contracted Marubeni to supply 0.5mt of LNG to the Dabhol project. The Japanese company will supply the LNG for three years starting from late 2011.

Construction and infrastructure

"The Dabhol terminal will have a capacity of 1.2m tonnes per year."

The LNG terminal consists of receiving, storage, re-gasification and send-out facilities. It also includes the associated port infrastructure to facilitate delivery by LNG carriers throughout the year.

The terminal will have a storage capacity of 500,000m³ provided by three 160,000m³ full containment cryogenic tanks.

The tanks have a diameter of 80m and a height of 50m.

The marine facilities of the terminal include a fuel jetty with a handling capacity of up to 140,000m², unloading arms, control tower, four berthing and mooring dolphins and one tug berth.

The jetty is capable of handling carriers with a capacity of 80,000m³-140,000m³ and extends to a depth of 1,750m into the sea.

A 2.3km-long rubble mound breakwater facility will be built to protect ships from waves during monsoons. Without the breakwater facilities the terminal can be operated only between October and May.

The breakwater facilities will enable the terminal to be operated throughout the year.

Delays to the Dabhol terminal

The Dabhol terminal was proposed by Enron in 1993. Permission to build the terminal was granted in 1997. In May 2001, construction of the terminal was suspended due to contractual disagreements with Enron.

The project was revived in 2006 following acquisition of RGP (earlier known as Dabhol Power Company) by a consortium consisting of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and GAIL.

The terminal was scheduled for commissioning in 2007, but was delayed and also went over budget. The government wanted to sell the terminal, but the plan was dropped after opposition from NTPC.

A revised commissioning date of March 2009 was set but a further delay occurred as the dredging works for construction of the breakwater facilities were not completed.

"RGP plans to partially commission the Dabhol terminal by the end of 2011."

The contract for the dredging works was given to Gammon India in November 2009. Delays caused by Gammon led to the contract's cancellation.

Gammon claimed that RGP did not provide the necessary environmental clearance details for carrying out the dredging works, which delayed the project.

RGP, however, stated that the contractor was required to obtain the environmental clearance.

In December 2010, tenders were called seeking a new contractor for the dredging works. The contractors are yet to be chosen. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

In January 2011, RGP invited bids for construction of the breakwater facility. Contractors for the project are expected to be chosen in the fourth quarter of 2011. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2013-14 allowing the terminal to operate at full capacity.

RGP plans to partially commission the mechanically complete terminal by the end of 2011. The terminal will run at about 30%-40% capacity until completion of the breakwater facilities.

Contractors for the Dahbol terminal

The front end engineering design of the terminal was carried out by Enron and Whessoe International.

A joint venture comprising Punj Lloyd and Whessoe International was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the LNG terminal. Scope of work under the $93.02m contract included construction of the terminal and the jetty facilities.

The contract for marine facilities was awarded to a consortium of Belgium-based Besix and UK-based Kier.

"RGP was set up as a special purpose vehicle to carry out the Dabhol project."

The consortium completed about 75% of the works before the construction of the terminal was suspended in 2001.

Siemens supplied two trains of single-shaft turbo-compressors for the facility. The compressors are used for boil-off gas compression and feature dry gas seals and adjustable inlet guide vanes.

Partners

RGP was set up as a special purpose vehicle to carry out the Dabhol project which includes the LNG terminal, the Dabhol power plant and an export pipeline. NTPC and GAIL each own 30.17% interest in RGP.

The Maharashtra government owns a 17.9% stake through MSEB Holding Company. The remaining 21.7% is held by public sector banks and financial institutions including State Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Canara Bank and ICICI Bank.

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