India: The newly built facility of Adani Group and French company TotalEnergies, located on the Odisha coast at Dhamra, is set to commence commercial operations by the end of May. The terminal with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per year received its first shipment of liquefied natural gas on April 1.
The Qatari ship 'Milaha Ras Laffan' brought in 2.6 trillion British thermal units of natural gas in its frozen form, which is intended for making steel, producing fertilizers, CNG and cooking gas. This shipment will facilitate the gradual commissioning of the facility, ultimately leading to full commercial operations by May 2023.
The Dhamra port operator, which has leased the LNG jetty to Adani Total Private Ltd, recently received its first LNG cargo. This achievement marks a significant milestone in India's efforts to access cleaner and more affordable energy, as well as decarbonize its energy sector. The commissioning cargo from TotalEnergies' Qatar-based portfolio was received by Adani Total Private Limited, which is a joint venture between TotalEnergies and Adani.
The Dhamra LNG terminal boosts India's regasification capacity by over 10%, making it the fifth largest global importer of LNG, with the ability to regasify five million metric tonnes of LNG each year. This development also enables the country to achieve its goal of increasing the share of natural gas in its energy mix from 8% to 15% by 2030, while reducing carbon intensity.
Dhamra, situated in eastern India, has become the sole LNG import terminal in the region, and the second on the entire east coast. This accomplished milestone was marked by the arrival of a shipment from Qatar to the newly developed Dhamra LNG terminal in partnership with Adani. The nation aims to replace coal with natural gas to decrease energy's carbon intensity, and increasing domestic demand necessitates the use of LNG.
The commissioning of the Dhamra terminal reveals the commitment towards India's energy transition while maintaining supply security by TotalEnergies. The terminal will commence commercial operations following necessary checks. Initial projections estimate an import of 2.2-2.3 million tonnes of LNG within the first year, with plans underway for ramping up to full capacity.
Dhamra is a tolling facility utilized by state-owned companies GAIL (India) Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for importing LNG, which is then re-converted into gas and transported to refineries, fertiliser units, automobiles, and household kitchens for cooking. A take-or-pay contract has been signed by the facility for a duration of 20 years. Under this contract, IOC will receive regasification services for 3 million tonnes of LNG annually, while GAIL will receive 1.5 million tonnes.
Dhamra terminal is equipped to accommodate a wide range of LNG vessels throughout the year, allowing gas transportation via pipelines, trucks, or reloaded vessels. The facility's two storage tanks, each with 180,000 cubic meters holding capacity, are amongst India's largest. Additionally, Dhamra's capacity can be easily doubled to 10 million tonnes by introducing a third tank in the future.
Dhamra has been designated as the primary supply point for the Urja Ganga pipeline, which has been developed by GAIL. As a result, more than 35% of India's population, spanning approximately 20% of the country's land mass, will have access to gas. The beneficiaries of the gas supplied by Dhamra's LNG would primarily be refineries, fertilizer plants, industries, and city gas networks situated in the surrounding regions.
LNG is primarily composed of Methane (C1) gas, which is chilled to around (-)160 degrees Celsius to transform it into a liquid form while maintaining atmospheric pressure. This reduces the volume it would otherwise take up by over six hundred times, allowing it to be transported in great quantities via specialised vessels across oceans.
India considers LNG as a bridge fuel to transition towards clean energy. The global trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached approximately 400 million tonnes last year. For the past three years, India's LNG imports have ranged from 22 to 24 million tonnes, accounting for roughly 3% of the country's primary energy mix.