Clean and Affordable Power: India Exploring Australian Gas Supplies


New Delhi: Shri Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State(IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy has said that the Government of India is willing to consider long term fixed price contracts for the supply of gas which will enable power producer to enter into a power supply contract at an affordable price. Shri Goyal was addressing a roundtable in Brisbane, Australia today on the business opportunities for LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and Coal Bed Methane. Shri Goyal further stated that additionally, opportunities to control the entire value chain right from gas production, liquefaction, shipping, re-gasification and power generation can be evaluated at the current historic low prices of many of these activities. The Minister is leading a delegation for the 3rd India-Australia Energy Security dialogue in Australia.

Shri Piyush Goyal highlighted that India is running one of the world’s largest renewable energy programme which aims to increase the capacity 5 times to 175 GW over the next seven years. This will require gas based plants which can act as spinning reserve and supply power during deficit times of day (like evenings) when renewable energy production reduces while stabilizing the grid. He also stressed that since coal based power is available in India at less than 5 cents per unit, the LNG providers should consider supplying gas to India at a price that is comparable.

Pointing out that India is the fourth largest energy consumer in the world Shri A.K. Jana, Executive Director, GAIL stated that India has also developed sufficient infrastructure in pipeline transportation, regasification facilities as well as end consumers facilities such as gas based power plants. These facilities enable the consumption of around 300 MMSCMD, whereas the present consumption is less than 50% of the same. This provides good opportunities to countries which have a surplus of Natural Gas provided it is available at affordable prices.

In order to explore the opportunities to affordably supply Australian LNG to India, an LNG sub-group has been created under the joint leadership of a Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and a senior Australian official. They will be further supported by an operating team as well as representatives from NTPC, GAIL, Petronet LNG and shipping companies. The sub-group will create a roadmap for the collaboration over the next two months.

The Australian Companies highlighted how technologies have been highlighted to reduce cost of producing natural gas and clear shipping routes between Australia and India provide ample opportunities to provide LNG to India at competitive rates. Additionally, with large increase in coal exploration and production in India, Australian companies can provide Coal Bed Methane (CBM) technologies to India.

With Australian collaboration, India aims to meet its objective to providing affordable and clean energy for all. The collaboration on LNG and CBM is a big outcome focused step towards achieving this objective.