Kochi LNG terminal on track for August 2012

Vol 15, PW 4 (25 Aug 11) Midstream & Downstream

Petronet-LNG crossed a significant milestone at its Kochi LNG terminal on August 15, India’s Independence Day.

PETROWATCH learns Petronet-LNG successfully completed ‘hydro-testing’ its first onshore LNG storage tank at Kochi on India’s 64th anniversary of its independence from British rule. Senior company executives hope this means the 5m t/y LNG terminal in Kerala can be commissioned by their internally set deadline of August 2012, making it the fourth terminal in the country after Dahej, Hazira and Dabhol.

Nearly 3000 workers are labouring around the clock at the Kochi LNG terminal construction site on Puthuvypeen Island to set up two LNG storage tanks, ‘marine facilities’ and the regasification unit. Petronet-LNG executives say they are constantly supervising this work to make up for time lost because of frequent labour unrest since construction began in 2008, typical in formerly Marxist-run Kerala.

Kochi’s first onshore LNG storage tank can hold 155,000-cubic metres of LNG. Sea water was pumped into this tank over 15 days, to a height of 27 metres, and retained for more than 24 hours to check for leaks.

“Tank-1 successfully passed the test on August 15,” confirms a source. Sea water, he adds, is being transferred into the second tank where it will be stored for more than 24 hours for hydrotesting.

After hydrotesting, construction crews will insulate the interior of both tanks and fit final ‘nozzles’. This work is expected to be completed by December.

Meanwhile, 80% of the construction work on Kochi’s marine facilities is complete: a 300-metre jetty is in place, as are ‘mooring dolphins’ and ‘breasting dolphins’ to tether berthing LNG tankers, and ‘base risers’ for LNG unloading arms. By March 2012, Petronet-LNG expects to install the LNG unloading arms, and complete work on all Kochi’s marine facilities.