IOC spearheads LNG by road tanker service in India

Vol 8, PW 25 (23 Mar 05) Midstream & Downstream

In another six months Indian Oil will launch a pilot project to supply LNG by road to customers.

This will be the first time in India that LNG is supplied directly to customers, skipping the traditional route of regassification and supply by pipeline. PETROWATCH learns the first customer of this unique project will be a towel factory owned by Welspun Industries at Vapi in Gujarat.

LNG by road in India will be a joint collaboration between IOC subsidiary IBP Petroleum and US-based technology provider Chart Industries. IOC directors approved the project in July 2003 but it has taken more than two years to materialise thanks to opposition from GAIL, worried it might compete with LNG sold by pipeline.

Under the basic engineering package prepared by Chart, LNG will be drawn from one of the LNG storage tanks at Dahej. The LNG will be tapped from the 16-inch pipeline that goes to the high pressure pump and the re-condenser, we learn.

If the tap off facility can happen fast the pilot project can be launched earlier. The LNG will be filled into specially designed tanker trucks, which will then transport them to the customer.

Chart has already submitted its basic engineering package to Petronet-LNG. Gaz de France is carrying out a hazard study for the project.

Once Petronet-LNG is satisfied with the basic engineering package, it will appoint a consultant to prepare a detailed engineering package. The pilot project is expected to begin with four cryogenic tanker trucks to transport LNG.

IBP Petroleum has already placed an order to import five giant bottles that will be fitted onto truck chassis. The fitting will take place in India and each tanker truck will be able to transport 15.7 tonnes of LNG.

A joint Chart-IBP task force is supervising implementation of the project.