AG&P is the owner and operator of Karaikal LNG import project.
The FSU-based LNG terminal is being developed at the Karaikal Port, Puducherry, India. Image courtesy of KPPL.
AG&P signed a long-term charter agreement for the Karaikal FSU with ADNOC in February 2020. Image courtesy of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

The Karaikal LNG terminal at Karaikal Port, Puducherry is the first LNG import project on India’s east coast to use a floating storage unit (FSU).

Scheduled for commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2021, the LNG import and re-gasification facility will have an initial capacity of one million tonne per annum (Mtpa) with a provision to expand to 6Mtpa in future.

The floating LNG terminal will be owned and operated by Atlantic Gulf and Pacific (AG&P), an LNG logistics and distribution company based in Singapore.

The ground breaking ceremony for the £153m ($200m) project was held in February 2020. AG&P also signed a long-term charter agreement for the Karaikal FSU in the same month.

Karaikal LNG project background

AG&P signed an exclusivity agreement with Karaikal Port (KPPL), to develop the LNG import and distribution facility at the port in November 2017.

Once commissioned, the LNG import terminal will supply natural gas to domestic and industrial customers in Tamil Nadu through a tie-in with the Cauvery Basin Natural Gas pipeline as well as through trucks.

The Karaikal LNG is intended to serve the city gas networks of AG&P, as well as other city gas companies in south-eastern India.

AG&P has licences for gas distribution in 12 geographical areas in India. Eleven of the 12 licenses are in four south Indian states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka.

AG&P has won city gas distribution license for Kanchipuram and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu.

The Karaikal floating LNG import terminal will also complement the Ennore LNG import terminal located 300km north of Karaikal port in meeting natural gas demand in Tamil Nadu.

Location and site details

The Karaikal LNG import terminal is being developed on a 12ha-site at the Karaikal Port approximately 320km south of Chennai.

The Karaikal Port in Puducherry is a deepwater all-weather port developed by Indian infrastructure company MARG in built, operate and transfer (BOT) model. The port was commissioned in 2009.

The LNG terminal site is located approximately 4km away from the Narimanan-Kuthalam segment of the 266km-long Cauvery Basin Natural Gas pipeline network which is owned and operated by state-run Gas Authority of India (GAIL).

Karaikal LNG terminal details

The Karaikal LNG import terminal comprises a permanently moored floating storage unit (FSU) along with a jetty within the breakwater area of the Karaikal Port.

The Karaikal FSU will initially be equipped with a single 125 million cubic feet per day (Mcfd) re-gasification train. More re-gasification modules will be added to the FSU as the demand for natural gas increases in the region.

Three more re-gasification trains and multiple truck-loading bays are planned to be added in the next phase.

The tie-in pipeline connecting the terminal with GAIL’s Cauvery Basin Natural Gas network will be 4km-long with a diameter of 18in. The operating pressure of the tie-in pipeline will be 45 bars.

Contractors involved

AG&P signed a 15-year charter agreement with ADNOC Logistics and Services, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to use its LNG ship Al Khaznah as the Karaikal FSU in February 2020.

The agreement also includes an option to extend the lease period of the vessel by five more years.

AG&P Engineering was responsible for the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the Karaikal LNG import terminal which was validated by Technip.