India is an attractive market for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) spot trade though its power generating sector will continue to rely significantly on coal, energy industry executives said here today. “The LNG market is getting shorter, more liquid and transparent that suits market like India as there are going to be more LNG available on the spot (trade),” said Martin Houston, vice chairman of the Texas-based LNG company Tellurian Inc. “With the increasing number of terminals along the coasts and pipeline connection, I see great amount of LNG being sold to India (in the coming years),” he told a press conference at the Singapore International Energy Week which opened today. But India will also have to maintain some long-term LNG supply contracts for stability, added Keisuke Sadamori, director at the Directorate of Energy Markets and Security in the International Energy Agency. He noted that India has joined Japan, South Korea and China in calls for global LNG suppliers to offer competitive prices. Houston noted that India is renegotiating long-term contract for lower LNG prices as price will remain a determinant in lowering energy cost in India. “There has been willing buyers and willing sellers and gas continued to be supplied to India despite the re- negotiation of termed contracts,” he said.
However, coal will continue to play a significant role in India’s power generating sector as the government continues with its efforts to reach out with electricity across the country, both executives and delegates at the conference pointed out. Emphasising on India’s ongoing renewable energy programme, the executives saw the significance of coal as it would remain the cheapest fuel for generating electricity. India is going to be dependent on coal for a long-time, said clean energy consultant Ken Hickson, managing director of Singapore-based ABC Carbon.
Though Indian renewable energy targets are applaudable, some 275 GW by 2027, according to National Electricity Plan 3, Hickson noted that the progress on some of the green projects have been slow. India has vast renewable energy resources, hydro-power, solar and wind being among the main sources, according to Hickson. He observed that Indian renewable business is one of the most attractive investment segments but the processes of getting on with project were still slower despite the improving ease of doing business in India.