MUMBAI, Oct. 16 -- Cochin Port Trust (CPT), the Indian government department that manages the port of Kochi, reported plans to convert the existing oil terminal into a receiving terminal for LNG.
According to CPT Chairman N. Ramachandran, Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) has approached CPT with a proposal to provide an exclusive terminal to handle imported LNG.
"We have already had three rounds of discussions with IOC and will soon finalize the proposal," Ramachandran said.
"There is some urgency in converting the oil terminal to LNG, since the Single Point Mooring project of Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) at Puthuvypeen (near Kochi) will be commissioned by next year."
After the commissioning of the SPM project, CPT's oil terminal would become superfluous. BPCL would no longer use it, and the port would lose almost 40% of its total earned revenues.
Converting the terminal to handle LNG, with or without a regasification facility, would bring CPT substantial revenues, because Petronet LNG's Kochi terminal is still on the drawing-board and will require at least 2 years more to become operational.
"IOC could take imported bulk LNG from the port to its bottling unit at Irimpanam, from which it can be redistributed," said Ramachandran. Currently, the company is importing LNG through New Mangalore port for distribution in the four southern states.
CPT also is exploring the possibility of optimum utilization of the land available on Willingdon Island, where the port is located. Unlike other ports, land shortage is a major concern with Cochin.