Ravi K Mehrotra’s shipping-to-retail Foresight Group plans on shipping liquified natural gas (LNG) to the Indian subcontinent in the long-term, while acquiring about seven-eight very large crude carriers (VLCCs) over the next year to transport fossil fuel. VLCCs are large tankers that ship crude.
The $2 billion company, which has invested $500 million in LNG carriers —Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSUs or FSRUs) — over next few years, and possibly LNG terminals as well, intends to have a fleet of 10 VLCCs and about a couple of LNG carriers in 2019.
On why he is investing in India now after having businesses in other countries in last 34 years, Mehrotra told BusinessLine that he was waiting for the country to reach “critical mass” stage.
“India has been at a stage when making available roti, kapda, makaan (bread, cloth and housing) was a priority of the ruling class than making available fuel. However, India has now reached a stage when its per capita income (PCI) is set to match the PCI level of China in 2003. We should reach that level over the next three-five years, if the economy grows at seven per cent,” said Mehrotra, Executive Chairman, Foresight Group.
As India reaches that point over the next few years, Foresight Group wants to be present in India even though it may not have made profits by then, said Mehrotra.
Mehrotra said that the Foresight Group is betting on LNG as the long-term solution of India, while investments in shipping crude will help the Group sail through the short-to-medium term.
The company has one VLCC currently, and also has two Aframax ships, which are the largest ships that can go to African continent, he added.