Philippines’ AG&P dominates LNG business in south India

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FILIPINO FIRM Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. (AG&P) said on Wednesday that it had emerged as the dominant player in south India’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) business after it secured nine licenses in the 10th round of auction of city gas distribution concessions by the regulatory board.

“AG&P is only one of two foreign companies to secure the coveted agreements to deliver natural gas directly to the residential, commercial, industrial and transport sectors in some of India’s most densely populated states,” the 119-year-old Philippine-based company said in a statement.

AG&P said the 25-year exclusive rights cover natural gas pipelines to residential users, supply for commercial establishments and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations for cars, buses and trucks in the districts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

The announcement comes as the global gas logistics company looks towards the Philippines for participation in infrastructure construction for the energy, transport and civil work projects under the government’s massive “Build, Build, Build” program.

“AG&P is very excited by this tremendous opportunity, which ultimately is a serious responsibility to the people and businesses in our geographic areas,” Joseph M. Sigelman, AG&P chief executive officer, said.

He said the company has started mapping the routes of its lines in each area, and crafting an implementation plan to be rolled out in the next few months.

“The roll-out of the project will include the installation of infrastructure making the following possible across the 28 districts we have been awarded: piped natural gas (PNG) for use in domestic households; PNG for for industrial and commercial use; CNG stations supporting use as an automotive fuel; delivery of LNG by truck to service various customer segments,” PPG Sarma, AG&P’s managing director for the city gas distribution and logistics business, said.

“The investments will be substantial and phased over time as construction of the infrastructure gets underway, with a projected investment of $1.3 billion,” he added.

AG&P’s city gas distribution networks are expected to bring significant foreign direct investment and generate direct and indirect employment across India. The construction of the networks is also seen to create thousands of local jobs. — Victor V. Saulon