India's Petronet runs Dahej terminal at above 80% of capacity

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's top gas importer, Petronet LNG Ltd, is running its western import terminal of Dahej at more than 80% of capacity after some customers increased purchases of the super cooled gas, finance chief V K Mishra said on Thursday.

Petronet supplies gas, mostly procured under long-term deals with Qatar and Australia, to Indian energy companies for sale to end-users. These companies also have booked capacity at Dahej to directly import gas.

Capacity use at the 17.5-million-tonnes-a-year terminal averaged 80% in the September quarter, Mishra said on an analyst call, adding that capacity use fell below 80% for a few weeks in September and October, leaving the company with unsold volumes.

"Dahej throughput was reduced ... but now the situation has improved and we are now managing to get targeted and scheduled cargoes," Mishra added.

The price of gas sourced through long-term deals is about $12 to $13 per million British thermal units, far lower than spot prices.

Customers had cut off-take for reasons such as maintenance shutdowns at some fertiliser plants, Mishra said, adding that Petronet may levy a penalty on clients in the December quarter for not using their full capacity.

Petronet plans to set up a 4-million-tonnes-a-year floating storage and regasification terminal at Gopalpur in eastern India by 2026, for which Mishra said it was seeking a 1.6-million-tonnes a year (MTPA) LNG import deal.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma in New Delhi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)