(Updates with official’s comments in third paragraph.)
Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Petronet LNG Ltd., India’s biggest natural gas importer, plans to spend $600 million to expand its terminal in the nation’s west coast by 50 percent.
The company may raise $400 million debt for the expansion of the Dahej terminal in Gujarat state due for completion by December 2015, Petronet Finance Director R.K. Garg said today in a telephone interview from New Delhi. Potential users of the expanded terminal, including GAIL India Ltd. and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp., may fund the remainder, he said.
“We are in discussions with users for the expansion and we may not need to spend any of our own money on it,” Garg said. “The fund-raising plans should be finalized in about six months. It will probably be a mix of local and overseas debt.”
Indian companies including Petronet and GAIL are building liquefied natural gas import terminals as demand for the clean- burning fuel increases and local production drops. The companies on June 1 signed preliminary agreements with OAO Gazprom to buy 2.5 million metric tons a year of LNG each for 25 years while GAIL agreed on Dec. 11 to purchase 3.5 million tons from Cheniere Energy Partners LP for two decades.
Petronet was little changed at 158.90 rupees at 1:18 p.m. in Mumbai trading. The stock has gained 27 percent this year compared with a 23 percent drop in the benchmark Sensitive Index.
The company is seeking as much as 2 million tons a year of long-term LNG contracts for its under-construction terminal at Kochi in the south Indian state of Kerala, Garg said.
--Editors: Andrew Hobbs, Rebecca Keenan
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