Major Asian LNG buyers must together seek fair pricing: PM

Kochi, Jan 4 : Major buyers of LNG in Asia should come together to demand a fair pricing mechanism for gas being imported from outside the continent, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday.

He was speaking after dedicating the Rs.4,200 crore Petronet LNG's Kochi terminal to the nation.

"Asia has been the driver of the global LNG demand in recent times. It is therefore important that major buyers of LNG in Asia come together to demand a fair pricing mechanism for gas being imported from outside of Asia. I hope to see India contribute towards an effort of this kind in the future," he said.

Petronet LNG has already tied up supply of 14.4 lakh tons of LNG per year for the Kochi terminal from the Gorgon project in Australia for a 20 year period.

Manmohan Singh pointed out that India has less than one percent of the world's known natural gas reserves.

"Therefore, for augmenting the supply of natural gas in our energy mix, we must necessarily import natural gas either by setting up LNG terminals or through transnational pipelines. Import of natural gas and pricing the imported gas constitute challenges that we must meet successfully in the time to come," he said.

Manmohan Singh said he was delighted to dedicate Petronet LNG's Kochi terminal to the nation as he has a special attachment to it since it was one of the two major projects that were announced during his very first trip to Kerala after assuming charge as prime minister.

"I congratulate the entire Petronet team for successfully commissioning this terminal. This project has been on the anvil since 2005. I am aware that a lot of sustained hard work by several agencies of the central and state governments has gone into making it a reality.

"And today, after eight years of the start of its implementation, the terminal is ready to fuel Kerala's multifaceted development," he said.

--IANS (Posted on 04-01-2014)

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