India on Monday received the first-ever cargo of Liquefied Natural Gas under a 20-year contract with Russia. LNG carrier ‘LNG Kano’, carrying cargo from Russian supplier Gazprom, docked at an import facility in Gujarat’s Dahej port on Monday.

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan termed it a ‘golden day’ for India’s energy programme. “To bring Russia’s liquefied natural gas in India is big achievement in our energy road map,” ANI quoted him as saying. Pradhan said Russia will supply LNG worth $1.5 billion (approximately Rs 10,000 crore) annually according to the contract.

In its first shipment, Gazprom supplied 3.4 lakh crore British thermal units from Nigeria. “First we renegotiated the price of LNG from Qatar, then reworked Australian supplies and now gas from Russia under renegotiated terms has started to flow,” Pradhan said, according to PTI. He added that India will import LNG worth $25 billion (Rs 1.67 lakh crore) over the contract period.

Pradhan said that the LNG imports from Russia has added a new dimension to the bilateral relations between New Delhi and Moscow, particularly in the oil and gas sector. He added that the government is committed towards transforming India into a gas-based economy and investments are being made to augment natural gas infrastructure.

At current oil prices, the Russian rate for LNG is $1.5 (approximately Rs 100) per million British thermal units less than the price at which India’s oldest supplier Qatar delivered the gas. Russian supplies are also cheaper by $1-1.5 per mmBtu than the LNG sourced from Australia and the United States.