Long-delayed Paradip pipeline comes alive

Vol 20, PW 10 (09 Feb 17) Midstream & Downstream

IndianOil has at last commissioned a much-delayed petroleum products evacuation pipeline from its newly-commissioned 15m t/y refinery at Paradip in Orissa.

As the refinery inches towards 100% capacity utilisation, this report learns diesel, petrol and kerosene supplies began flowing out last month (January). "We've commissioned the pipeline till Chhattisgarh," confirms IOC director pipelines Anish Aggarwal.

Of the total 1070-km pipeline length, IndianOil has commissioned 855-km while the remaining 215-km will be commissioned by end-March (2017), he adds. IOC conceived this pipeline in 2010 running from Paradip to Raipur in Chhattisgarh passing through Sambalpur in Orissa and Ranchi in Jharkhand.

Six years delayed, the original completion deadline was November 2011. Aggarwal complains laying the pipeline through areas overrun by Maoist insurgents was not easy.

"Adding to the delay were problems with pipe manufacturers and laying contractors," he says. Even today, land acquisition challenges are forcing a delay in commissioning the last stretch to Ranchi.

In a separate development, IOC director refineries Sanjiv Singh tells us a 700-km LPG pipeline from Paradip to Haldia and Durgapur in West Bengal is 70% complete. Singh predicts it will be commissioned by December 2017.

Unhappy with IOC's current system, where around 60,000 tonnes/month LPG from Paradip is evacuated by truck, Singh adds: "When trucks are unavailable there are huge problems with a two or three-day backlog of LPG deliveries."