India is said to be preparing a roadmap for establishing floating storage facilities for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at all its major ports, according to a senior government official.
“A plan is in the works It would be finalised by the fiscal year-end,” the official said. The project is estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crore in total and will be open for private-sector participation, the official said.
India has 12 major ports, of which Cochin (Kerala) and Kandla (Gujarat) already have accessible LNG storage facilities. The proposed LNG terminals will provide refuelling facilities for ships, as well as help serve India’s increasing demand for gas from the industry and for city-gas distribution.
“LNG is soon going to be the preferred fuel for powering ships. The cryogenic storages being planned will receive and store natural gas in the liquid form and then refuel ships that come to the ports,” the official said.
LNG, which is less polluting than marine oils, is increasingly being looked at as the transition fuel to power ships amid the industry’s direction globally towards green shipping. In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, with a vision to phase them out “as soon as possible in this century” by shifting to fully electric ships.
The government’s move to set up LNG storage facilities is also in line with India’s increasing domestic natural gas requirement. The Indian Railways recently allowed the transport of the LNG on its network to enable reliable supplies to consumers in hinterland regions.