When LPG scores over piped gas: Coromandel

Vol 20, PW 2 (06 Oct 16) Midstream & Downstream

Fertiliser producer Coromandel is still haunted by the memory of the gas supply disruption it faced in June 2014 after an explosion in a GAIL gas pipeline in Andhra Pradesh.

Rather than face such a nightmare scenario again, BSE-listed Coromandel has decided to start taking LPG supplies by truck for its Kakinada factory in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district. In September Coromandel invited EoIs from IndianOil, Bharat Gas and Super Gas to supply 23 t/d of LPG by truck at Kakinada.

"We'll take in a 25 tonne (capacity) tanker daily," says a company source. Coromandel also received environment ministry clearance on September 10 to set up a LPG receiving station, a truck unloading bay and three mounded LPG tanks, each of 100 tonnes.

Coromandel is presently taking 30,000 cm/d of gas from GAIL for its diammonium phosphate plant and boiler house. "But whenever there is any mishap or GAIL carries out any maintenance on the gas pipeline, our supplies are hit," says a Coromandel source.

"This hurts our output." For the time being, he adds, Coromandel will use LPG as a standby fuel. "But if piped gas supplies continue to be disrupted we will fully switch over to LPG," we hear.

Our source clarifies that there will be no change in the Kakinada factory's production capacity or in process units and utilities. No additional land is needed as the factory already spreads across 437 acres.

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