New Delhi, Aug 11 (PTI) Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL), the country's biggest gas importer, on Tuesday said it invoked the force majeure on nine cargoes after COVID-19 lockdown cut offtake by consumers.

Petronet imports natural gas in its liquid form (LNG) from countries such as Qatar and Australia and pipes it to users such as power plants and fertiliser units after re-converting it into its gaseous state.

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Petronet invoked the force majeure on eight liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes of Qatar and one from Exxon for loading from March to May.

"Due to a nationwide lockdown imposed by the Government of India from the last week of March 2020, the offtake of regasified-LNG (RLNG) from the Dahej terminal (in Gujarat) was reduced.

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"This decline in throughput was due to partial/full shutdown of a number of industries, refineries, power plants, etc, which reduced their offtake of natural gas as the demand of their respective products decreased," Petronet said in a regulatory filing.

Average gas send-out from the Dahej terminal fell to less than 60 per cent of the capacity in April, down from over 88 per cent in the previous month.

"Post first week of June when the lockdown was relaxed, the demand of RLNG has seen gradual recovery and since then, PLL's Dahej terminal is operating at its full capacity of 17.5 million tonnes per annum (63 million standard cubic meters per day)," it said.

Before COVID 19, average send-out during January-February was around 58 mmscmd (92 per cent of the capacity) at the Dahej terminal and 3.57 mmscmd (20 per cent) at 5 million tonnes a year at the Kochi terminal in Kerala.

"Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and a consequent reduced RLNG demand during the lockdown period, PLL was constrained to invoke the force majeure for nine long-term cargoes with its suppliers and discussion on the same are ongoing," the company said without giving details.

During the said period, PLL also received requests under regasification contracts for deferment of third-party cargoes to subsequent months, it added. PTI ANZ ANZ HRS 08111850 NNNNversity. Mercedes is competing in an all-black car instead of the usual silver, while Hamilton and Bottas have “End Racism” written on the car's halo.

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The Tigers had another doubleheader scheduled for Wednesday against St. Louis, but that was postponed Monday, along with the entire four-game series in Detroit, when MLB announced that seven Cardinals players and six staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

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