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LNG imports set to pick up as India unlocks

<p id="content">As gas demand picks up in the country in the unlock phase, imports are set to pick up in coming months with increased shipments at ports to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The LNG imports are also expected to pick up as gas transportation utility GAIL has reopened its five million tonne Ratnagiri LNG terminal on the West coast after monsoon related forced a shutdown in May.

A GAIL official said that imports at Ratnagiri have resumed and would soon reach normal levels.

The PSU receives around 5 LNG cargoes a month at Ratnagiri but since lockdown one in March, imports have remained hit and cargo unloading has only started in late September.

Gas imports form an important component of meeting India's overtake energy Demand. But with Covid induced demand suppression, imports were badly hit. Now with demand returning back to pre covid levels, there is an expectation that LNG cargoes would start hitting the Indian shores at much more regular intervals.

India meets about half of its daily 160-170 million standard cubic meters (mmscm) of gas demand through imports. But imports had slipped sharply in April. The unlock phase has started bringing back demand .

The unlock has again put demand back in the CGD segment where more households are getting connected to piped gas. Also, most fertiliser and power plants, key consumers of gas, are now operating at a normal rate.