Crude oil
Crude oilReuters File

State-owned natural gas company GAIL India has received bids from two Japanese consortiums for its $7 billion (about Rs. 46, 760 crore) tender for hiring ferry ships, wherein nine ships would ferry liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. to India.

The first consortium is Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd-Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd-Mitsui & Co. and the second Japanese consortium, which has applied for the tender, is Mitsubishi Corporation-Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd-GasLog Ltd. Both the consortiums submitted their bids for the tender on March 31, 2016, Press Trust of India reported.

GAIL India reportedly seeks nine LNG cargo ships from the U.S. with a capacity of 1, 50,000 - 1, 80,000 cubic meters for transporting LNG to India. The company has tied up with two firms -- Sabine Pass and Cove Point LNG -- to supply LNG.

The supplies are expected to begin from December 2017, the PTI report added.

The tender, which was first issued in September 2015, was postponed two times and finally it was closed on March 31, 2016. GAIL said the quotes were sought for three lots of carriers, each comprising three ships.

Of the three, one ship from each lot would reportedly be built in an Indian shipyard, while the other two carriers would be built at the foreign collaborator's shipyard.

Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will operate all the carriers.

According to the tender document cited by PTI, foreign shipyards have been given a deadline of May 31, 2019, to deliver the ships, whereas ships built at Indian shipyards will have to be delivered between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

Last month GAIL India and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) were offered stake in Adani Group's Dhamra LNG project in Odisha. The private company had written to GAIL and IOC, offering them 49 percent stake in the Rs. 5,000 crore project.

GAIL India stock closed at Rs. 368.55 Wednesday, up 0.55 percent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.