NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Petronet LNG plans to extend its short-term deal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar's Rasgas until December 2008, the Indian firm's director of finance told reporters on Tuesday.
Amitava Sengupta said Petronet wants to import an additional 750,000 tonnes of LNG under the agreement.
The LNG began arriving in July at Petronet's Dahej terminal in western India, and is being piped to the former Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra, which is now known as Ratnagiri.
"We have already extended the deal till September and we will talk to our existing suppliers to extend it further to December 2008," Sengupta said.
He said the power plant needed an average of two cargoes of 150 million cubic metres a month.
"If the contract is extended the total quantity would be two million tonnes," he said.
Sengupta said the current price of $8.5 a million British thermal units (mmBtu) would remain valid until December 2008.
The firm's managing director, Prosad Dasgupta, in July had said that the short-term contract with Rasgas contained a clause to double the contract size.
Petronet LNG has been asked to ensure the supply of LNG for Dabhol until September 2009, when state gas transmission company GAIL (India) Ltd. will take responsibility for supplies.
Petronet has been seeking LNG to secure energy supplies as demand grows in Asia's third-largest consumer.
Last month, its signed a draft agreement with Exxon Mobil Corp to buy 2.5 million tonnes of LNG a year from Australia's Gorgon project for 25 years.
It is also looking to secure a large contract with Algeria.
Rasgas is also supplying India with 5 million tonnes of LNG a year under a long-term contract, and the quantity will be raised to 7.5 million tonnes a year from 2009.