A.K. Balyan, Petronet's chief executive, satated:
We are looking at largely a producer or supplier of gas. Several well-known companies have got in touch and would like to have more information.
According to sources, Petronet LNG is seeking firms which can bring in gas turned into liquid at minus 160 degrees Celsius or companies that will buy imported fuel to be sold in the domestic market.
The facility will have an initial capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with the construction completion date set for 2018.
The total project investment is estimated at about Rs50 billion (US$806 million). Petronet has 74% stake in the terminal while Gangavaram port has 8% stake.
State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) is one of the firms interested in the project. The company has announced its intention to acquire about 8% of the project. An industrial official said:
HPCL is likely to pick up a stake in the terminal as it requires gas for the Visakhapatnam refinery.
The Viskhapatnam refinery, which is close to Gangaravam port, is being expanded to 15 mtpa from current 8.33 mtpa.
Gangavaram LNG terminal will be Petroent’s first import facility on the east coast. The firm already has a 10 million tonnes a year terminal at Dahej in Gujarat and a 5 million tonnes unit at Kochi in Kerala. Petronet is currently expanding Dahej to 15 million tonnes by end of 2016. The company also has plans to add another 2.5 million tonnes capacity at a cost of about Rs11 billion (US$177 million).