‘H-Energy is aiming to create a competitionbased natural gas market in India’

Darshan Hiranandani,
Manging Director, H-Energy .
H-Energy, a subsidiary of the real estate giant Hiranandani Group, was incepted on the pursuit of providing the nation an environmentally sound, world-class infrastructure and utility solutions of energy, says Darshan Hiranandani, Manging Director, H-Energy. In a candid interaction with Mittravinda Ranjan and Rakesh Roy, the young Entrepreneur details on the company'’'s businesses in India and its future plans. Excerpts:

As Hirananadani Group is known as the Real Estate giant in the country, what was the objective of venturing into LNG and Gas Marketing business; and how do you evaluate the current and future outlook of Natural Gas market of India?
As we know that the energy need of the country has been grown up year on year, the quest to provide the nation an environmentally sound, worldclass infrastructure and utility solutions of energy led to the inception of H-Energy. Furthermore, we realised that monopoly of state-owned natural gas processing and distribution companies like GAIL has downgraded the natural gas market in India, thus the customers aren't getting the real benefits.

Inception of H-Energy was the pursuit of bringing more gas into the country. Natural gas, which is considered as a clean energy, share in Indian energy mix is nominal as comparison to the World energy mix. As like its Asian counterpart - China, India has also been funded and depend more into coal-based power for its growing energy needs. So gas can be played a key role as a clean fuel for the country’s energy needs and feedstocks for end-user industries of gas like; power & fertiliser plants and refineries .

Other user industries like steel plant, glass plant, etc also require gas. CNG and City gas requirement in the country will be continued to grow

H-Energy is aiming to create a competition-based natural gas market in India which will further bring down the pricing of gas as similar happened to the Indian telecom industry.

Please apprise us the H-Energy business in India in detail?
H-Energy is currently setting up two LNG projects in India – one is in the west coast at Jaigarh port in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, which will be a 8 MTPA LNG import, storage and regasification terminal; and other is in the east coast where we plan to set up an offshore floating storage facility near Digha coast in West Bengal of 6 MMTPA capacity with an intent to supply natural gas to the eastern and northern states of India.

H-Energy is also working on two long cross-country pipelines - one is Jaigarh to Dabhol of 60 km long pipeline; and other is from Jaigarh to Mangalore, which is 635 km long pipeline which aims to cater the natural gas market of Mangalore and Bengaluru. Both the pipelines have been approved by PNGRB and are expected to ready and synchronised by the completion of the Jaigarh terminal by 2019.

Can you elaborate more into the business model of Jaigarh LNG Terminal as it has said that it will be a build own & operate (BOO) model where H-Energy will basically provide the infrastructure to the interesting party who want to get LNG from overseas?
The options will be both. H-Energy’s Jaigarh LNG Terminal will provide its infrastructure to third party users for regasification of LNG to end users of gas such as: power & fertiliser plants, oil refineries, steel plants, etc . The terminal will also give a platform to gas marketing companies for independently sourcing LNG from international markets.

For example; H-Energy has signed agreements with Indian end-user companies of natural gas for providing cheaper Shale gas from USA and also taking off liquefaction capacity of the USA simultaneously.

The idea is to keep the interest of Indian customers and giving them cheaper natural gas and deliver it direct to their doorstep.

Please thru more lights on H-Energy's plan to foray into Eastern India in offshore LNG operations?
H-Energy's FSRU project and proposed gas pipeline infrastructure in the Eastern India at Digha, West Bengal will promote rapid 'Economic Growth' in Eastern states like West Bengal and Odisha. H-Energy strategic plan is to connect with a gas grid in between states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.

H-Energy is also exploring the feasibility of supplying Natural Gas to North Bengal through the pipeline network of Bangladesh with minimal capital investment.

All major techno-economic studies for the project have already been completed and commissioning of the project is planned in Q4, 2018. The project life is 25 years, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,400 crore on the FSRU and Rs 2,700 crore on the total gas pipeline system, both sub-sea and onshore components put together.

Can you apprise us the long term future plans of H-Energy in India ?
For the time being, we are focused on commissioning of these projects.