Petronet LNG has reported a 30% drop in first quarter net profit on lower margin and said it has received interest from 17-18 global LNG players for hiring its almost-idle Kochi terminal.
Petronet, India's biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), reported a net profit of R156.60 crore in April-June, down from R225.32 crore in the same period a year ago.
"The decrease in net profit is primarily due to higher depreciation and interest charges pertaining to Kochi LNG terminal capitalised in the books of accounts in September 2013, and also lower margins at Dahej (terminal)," its chief executive Ashok K Balyan said here.
Petronet operated its 10 million tonne a year Dahej import facility in Gujarat at 109% of capacity but its margins on import of LNG from spot market shrunk. Also, the 5 million tonne a year Kochi terminal is operating at just 1% of the capacity as state gas utility GAIL has not yet built pipelines to connect the facility to key customers in Bangalore and Mangalore.
"The Board has today approved leasing out of storage facility at Kochi. We had recently sought expression of interest from LNG traders and marketers who want to use Kochi as an intermediate for storing of LNG," he said, adding the response to the tender has been tremendous.
About 17-18 international LNG marketers like Excelerate have envinced interest for hiring two LNG storage tanks of nearly 182,000 cubic meters gross capacity each.
"We hope to finalise agreements and begin leasing out the facility by end of September," he said.