LNG Terminal – Economic Growth and Clean Environment Coupled Together
Considered the cleanest available fuel, natural gas has played a very important role in the economic growth of Kerala, especially with the commissioning of the LNG Terminal in Kochi last year. Preservation of the environment with parallel industrial growth has been the limelight for LNG. This, in addition to the fact that when compared with conventional fuels, natural gas is cheaper, cleaner, safer and more efficient.
The last week saw a meeting between the Executive Director of BPCL, Mr Prasad K Panicker and the members of Kerala Chamber of Commerce, where Mr Panicker shared his views on how BPCL Kochi would continue to make use of LNG for its Kochi plant and might require more quantity of it once the ongoing expansion projects near completion.
“There is a possibility of global prices of natural gas coming down. Though the change in international gas prices are not in tandem with that of the crude since 2009, Govt policy on gas pricing is yet to be announced and a market related pricing regime would be great”, Mr Panicker said.
With the state having to spend Rs 4200 Crores for completion of the whole LNG project, which boasts of a capacity to store and distribute 5-million tonnes per annum, it is evident the positives this project would bring about in the economic and industrial framework of Kerala.
The 120km pipeline, of which 117km would be offshore, is planned to go upto the NTPC Kayamkulam power plant. The completion of this stretch would result in an era of massive twin-bladed growth and industrialization in the state. Since most of the industries are situated along this coastline, it would result in easier access to LNG for them. This cuts down on the cost of transport for many of them.
Secondly, the various industries in and around the state will benefit from the low-cost electricity generated from LNG, as compared to the conventional methods. You couple this with the factor that LNG is more economic even from the individual users front, and we have a complete integrated solution to various of the issues being faced here today.
On adjunct lines, the completion of LNG Terminal will result in added benefits to various other industries too – rise in need of skilled manpower, demand for pipes, increase in demand for accessories like valves, joints, meters, PLC fittings, transportation etc. This will hype up the economic turnover within the state, resulting in more economic activity for state bred industries.
Pair all this up with the first factor, that its green and cheaper, and you are looking at the establishing of a strong backbone for the Kerala economy in the coming years. We are definitely in for a boom!