Foresight Group, which has shown interest in the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), wants to make a global LNG carrier out of the state-run ship operator, said the London and Dubai-based company’s founder Ravi Mehrotra.
The shipping and oil-drilling company has submitted an expression of interest (EoI) for the carrier. If it makes it to the subsequent stages, it aims to fund the bid via family trust money, its consortium partners and private equity funds, Mehrotra told ET.
He said the government’s aim to increase natural gas consumption in the country presented an opportunity for the SCI to focus on this segment. Natural gas currently accounts for 6.2% of India’s energy consumption and the government aims to increase it to 15%.
Foresight Group is among several entities including Great Eastern Shipping, Prem Watsa’s Fairfax, US-based Safesea Group and Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta which have shown interest in the SCI. It has submitted an EoI in consortium with the Belgium listed shipping company Exmar NV and Dubai-based shipping company GMS DMCC.
Mehrotra started his shipping career with the SCI in 1964 as a marine engineer. He was deputed by the Indian government to spear-head Iran-o-Hind, the SCI’s joint venture with the government of Iran from 1974 to 1984. He left the SCI in 1984 to start the Foresight Group from London.
In September 2020, Foresight Group got approval to develop a $500 million compressed natural gas terminal at the Bhavnagar Port in Gujarat.