Petronet LNG Eyes Global Role: Dr A K Balyan

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Dr A K Balyan,  Managing Director & CEO, Petronet LNG Limited

We have to play an important role in the energy security of the country, so we are focusing on creating world-class infrastructure, says Dr A K Balyan during an interaction with Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network (ENN)

Give us an overview of the Petronet LNG.

 Petronet LNG. Petronet LNG Limited is a company, uniquely structured and incorporated in tune with the long-term perspectives of the Government looking for ways to meet the increasing demand of energy. I must compliment the Government of India for visualising that country would remain a net and big importer of energy for long and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) would be required in future. Bringing together four major oil PSUs – ONGC, Indian Oil, GAIL and Bharat Petroleum – the company was formed to hold 50 percent equity. We also have with us Gaz de France, an MNC of repute and leader in LNG technology, with 10 percent equity stake as the strategic partner.

As per the Companies Act, Petronet LNG Ltd is not a PSU but draws support and strength from its PSU promoters. The Secretary, Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, is the Chairman of the company. It is a great example of a successful PPP model. We, therefore, have the speed and flexibility to take decisions. Starting our business transactions in 2004, we have continued to be leader in LNG business in the country for 10th year.

What are the major initiatives of Petronet LNG?

We have to play an important role in the energy security of the country. We realise that larger volumes of gas will have to be imported in the form of LNG. We have focused on creating world class infrastructure so that we can import large volumes of LNG.

We have two projects which are operational. One is Dahej terminal in Gujarat and another is situated in Kochi, Kerala. Dahej Terminal (10 MMTPA) is perhaps the biggest terminal in this part of the world. The infrastructure was developed in the shortest possible time and at a competitive cost. The capacity of the terminal is being further expanded to 15 MMTPA. The company had set a strategic goal of creating a storage capacity of 30 MMTPA by 2020. The 5 MMTPA Kochi Terminal was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister on January, 2014.

Unfortunately this terminal is not able to operate at high capacity due to non-completion of pipeline network in Kerala.

What are your future expansion plans?

Now two projects have caught our undivided attention. First, we want to leave a footprint in the East Coast, looking at the new 5 MMTPA terminal at Gangavaram in Andhra Pradesh. We have got all the approvals after revalidating our commercial commitments pertaining to gas consumers and pipeline connectivity and other allied issues. We hope to start the construction work soon. As our second project, we are expanding Dahej terminal’s capacity to 15 MMTPA. All these efforts will take us to the level of 25 MMTPA capacity by 2017 – 18.

As an important stakeholder in the energy sector of the country, what steps do you think are needed to ensure energy security in India?

Since India will remain a net importer of energy, we should have the world class facility to import, store and transport energy. In the gas field, we are creating world class facilities of our terminals with the option of further expansions. On the other hand, we are entering into long-term contracts of supply with countries like Qatar, Australia and we are increasing our portfolios of supplies. We need good pipeline network – a gas grid, so that gas can be transported to customers on a pan India basis.

“We are a networked company with maximum working on e-mode. This has brought in lots of transparency, speed and objectivity in our overall working”

It is often said that the use of ICT brings transparency and accountability into the system. What is your opinion with reference to the overall management system in your organisation?

In the modern corporate management system, transparency and objectivity are very important. All our operations of the company are on ERP platform. I can get the latest status of operations of Dahej or Kochi terminal, sitting in my Delhi office and can communicate and intervene, if necessary. We are a networked company with maximum working on e-mode. This has brought in lots of transparency, speed and objectivity in our overall working. We strongly promote e-mode communication with our employees and create systems for keeping all data on ICT platform. This will help us manage our knowledge.

Share your vision for Petronet LNG Limited.

Being the leader of LNG business in the country, I would like to see Petronet LNG Ltd leave International foot prints. I am sure the company will achieve this in next five years.

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