GAIL (India) Ltd. has deferred its proposed Rs7,000 crore petrochemicals project in Kochi. Also, the Rs3,000 crore Petronet LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant in the city will be delayed by one year. The petrochemicals complex was planned as an upshot of the Petronet LNG plant and was envisaged in the backdrop of sourcing ethane-rich gas. Under the project, the gas would be 'cracked' separating the ethane, which would be made into ethylene and used for downstream projects. However, the 2.5 million tpa of gas, which was to be sourced for the LNG plant, is unlikely to be rich in ethane. The gas found in India was 'lean' and would not support such an industry.
The ministry has been in talks with several suppliers and had finally zeroed in on Gorgon for a long-term agreement, which is expected to be signed by mid-2008.
Another reason for the delay has been the road connectivity to the terminal site that would need 250 truckloads (about one million cubic metres) of soil daily.