In­dia’s first nat­u­ral gas ex­change to be un­veiled by March 2020

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

New Delhi, In­dia - In­dia’s largest elec­tric­ity trad­ing plat­form plans to un­veil the na­tion’s first nat­u­ral gas ex­change by March as it seeks to tap in­creas­ing de­mand for the clean­est fos­sil fuel.

In­dian En­ergy Ex­change started putting to­gether the in­fras­truc­ture and a team of about 20 of­fi­cials to run the bourse, Ra­jesh Medi­ratta, strate­gies di­rec­tor at the com­pany, said in an in­ter­view in New Delhi. The world’s sec­ond most pop­u­lous na­tion has been mulling a gas ex­change for sev­eral years but the move has been rein­vig­o­rated by in­creas­ing use of the fuel as a global glut damps prices.

Wors­en­ing air qual­ity and the na­tion’s de­pen­dence on im­ported crude oil has also spurred a tran­si­tion in In­dia’s en­ergy plan­ning. The coun­try seeks to in­crease the share of nat­u­ral gas in its en­ergy mix to 15 per cent by 2030 from the cur­rent 6 per cent, draw­ing in­ter­est from global ma­jors in­clud­ing To­tal SA and Exxon Mo­bil Corp.

The ex­change will help bring down the price of nat­u­ral gas through com­pet­i­tive trade, boost­ing us­age in a coun­try that re­lies heav­ily on cheaper coal for its en­ergy needs, Medi­ratta said.

Still, there are hur­dles to over­come. In­dia’s gas mar­ket needs uni­form trad­ing rules and free­dom for con­sumers to buy the fuel wher­ever they want. A plan to al­lo­cate a cer­tain vol­ume of do­mes­tic gas for trad­ing at ex­changes is also wait­ing for gov­ern­ment ap­proval. Fi­nally, there is the cost of mul­ti­ple tax­a­tion linked to mov­ing nat­u­ral gas across state bor­ders, with the Petroleum Min­istry call­ing for one coun­try­wide uni­form sales tax sys­tem.

“The reg­u­la­tor and the pol­i­cy­mak­ers are work­ing to­wards stream­lin­ing the sys­tem,” Medi­ratta said. “That gives us a lot of com­fort.”

Ra­jesh Medi­ratta

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.