Raising the roof of LNG storage tank at Kochi

Vol 13, PW 20 (25 Mar 10) Midstream & Downstream

Any doubts about Petronet-LNG commissioning its Kochi LNG terminal on time can be put aside.

PETROWATCH learns work on the two storage tanks at the 2.5m t/y under-construction terminal is progressing apace. Petronet-LNG, we hear, expects to raise the roof of one of the 185,000-cubic metre capacity tanks by the end of next month (April) by pumping air at high pressure using blowers.

“Petronet-LNG is likely to organise a ceremony to mark the occasion,â€‌ said a source. “Getting a chance to see such a spectacle is a rare opportunity.

Many people would like to see it. It’s like lifting a roof the size of a football pitch into the air!â€‌ Expect to see representatives not only from Petronet-LNG promoter companies GAIL, BPCL, IOC and ONGC, but also from Gorgon LNG supplier ExxonMobil, who are likely to be invited.

“Nobody will be allowed to enter the tank for 20-25 days after the roof is raised,â€‌ we hear. “Work on building the inner walls of the tank will begin afterwards.

â€‌ We also learn Petronet-LNG is hoping to raise the roof of the second tank a month later, by the end of May. “Around 2000 labourers are working at the site in double shifts,â€‌ adds a source.

“The construction of re-gasification and marine facilities is also on schedule.â€‌ When commissioned in early 2012, the Kochi terminal is likely to start off with spot LNG before long-term supplies start arriving from the Gorgon LNG project in Australia.

“Exxon has told Petronet-LNG the window for first Gorgon LNG will be between July 2014 and July 2015,â€‌ adds a source. “Any cargoes between commissioning and then will be short-term.

â€‌ Marketing rights from the 2.5m t/y capacity terminal will be shared between BPCL, IOC and GAIL.