A public hearing on the establishment of a 5-million tonne per annual (mtpa) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed at Gangavaram in Visakhapatnam district by Petronet LNG Limited is being held tomorrow. The Vizag district administration has made arrangements for the same at Gangavaram port after the chief secretary intervened in the matter, officials said here.
“The district administration was initially reluctant to conduct the public hearing due to opposition from local environmental activists on the pretext that the LNG terminal was not part of a port activity. However, chief secretary Minnie Mathew had clarified on these issues besides asking the district administration to go ahead with the public hearing,” a senior government official told Business Standard.
It may be recalled that Petronet LNG and Gangavaram Port Limited in May 2012 had signed a firm and binding term sheet for the development of land-based LNG terminal with facilities for receiving, storage and regasification of LNG at an investment of around Rs 4,500 crore. Gangavaram Port will also have a stake in the project in exchange for the land it is providing.
Petronet LNG is among the 3-4 players, including GAIL Limited, planning to establish LNG infrastructure on the AP coast in view of large-scale unmet demand coming from power plants after the natural gas production in the K-G Basin fell by three fourths of the originally anticipated volume of 80 mmscmd.
The fall in the natural gas output had aggravated the power supply situation in Andhra and this forced the state to actively scout for developers of LNG terminals on the sea coast. Public sector GAIL Limited is planning to set up a barge-mounted LNG terminal at Kakinada by the end of this year in a bid to bring LNG quickly to the AP coast to supply to the gas-power projects.