India asks Qatar to invest in power plants as condition for LNG deals

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UPDATE 1-India asks Qatar to invest in power plants as condition for LNG deals

* India seeks to revive ailing power plants with Qatar
    * India submits detailed investment proposal to Qatar

 (Recasts, adds details)
    By Neha DasguptaNEW DELHI, June 20 (Reuters) - India on Tuesday said it
would sign future long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase
deals with Qatar if only Doha agrees to acquire stakes in the
South Asian nation's power plants, oil minister Dharmendra
Pradhan said.
    India is the latest major LNG buyer to seek concessions from
Qatar, the world's biggest LNG exporter, in order to re-sign
long-term supply contracts. Amid a global glut of LNG and a
slump in prices, other buyers have sought more flexible
contracts, including clauses that would allow them to resell gas
they do not consume. [nL3N1J9338][ nL3N1IY03M]
    "Yesterday, we have given a firm proposal to Qatar. If they
want to have a long-term off-take assurance, there is a window.
They can deal with our stranded power plants, from end to end
they can give some solution," Pradhan told Reuters on Tuesday.

    India is suffering from natural gas shortages that have
required power plants with capacity of as much as 25,000
megawatts to shut down or run as lower rates. Qatar's RasGas is
India's biggest LNG supplier.
    "It won't be quid pro quo but mutual interest...They can
share the profit of those power plants,"  said Pradhan, adding
New Delhi wants to expand its ties with Doha beyond simply buyer
and supplier.
    India wants to gradually move to a gas-based economy and has
plans to raise its annual LNG import capacity to 50 million
tonnes in the next few years from 21 million tonnes now.
    India is also open to granting stakes to Qatar in local oil
and gas companies and LNG terminals, should the Gulf emirate
make such a proposal, said Pradhan.
   India's biggest gas importer Petronet LNG <PLNG.NS> annually
buys 8.5 million tonnes under a long-term contract. It also buys
additional volumes from Qatar under spot deals.
    Prabhat Singh, chief executive of Petronet, said the Gulf
nation needed to decide quickly on the Indian proposal. He said
India could be a stable outlet for Qatar's LNG.

 (Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Douglas Busvine and
Christian Schmollinger)
 ((neha.dasgupta@tr.com; +91-11-49548058; Reuters Messaging:


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