Countdown to completion of Dahej LNG terminal

Vol 7, PW 20 (17 Dec 03) Midstream & Downstream

Eleven days from now on 28th December, Indias first LNG import terminal will be ready at Dahej in Gujarat.

It will be a momentous occasion by any standard. But for senior Petronet-LNG project manager K Ramu and his colleagues, itll be just another day.

Maybe we will click some photographs, nothing else, Ramu tells this correspondent during a visit to the Dahej site. It will be a normal working day for us.

Why 28th December We began work on 28th December 2001, says project manager Rajender Singh. At 36 months completion, we will be setting a world record in putting up a LNG terminal.

The usual time is 42 months. Cross the security check-post into the 480,000-sq metre Petronet-LNG Dahej site to get a feel of a project nearing completion.

Yellow-helmeted workers stream in and out, as do dumpers and lorry trailers. One portion of the site, where the towers of the cement concrete mixing units once rose into the sky, is now almost bare and workers are packing machinery into containers.

Sections of steel girders, unused pipes and other construction leftovers clutter the site while mounds of excavated mud wait to be carried out. Singh has marked out this week for a major clean-up operation.

On 28th December, the site will look brand new, he promises. Scores of workers are busy cleaning the road surface in preparation for the first coat of asphalt.

A whirring sound fills the air from two giant fans of the air compressor unit. Our water, air, power and nitrogen facilities were ready in mid-November, says Ramu, as he escorts this correspondent and visitors from the Gujarat Electricity Board around the site.

Every five minutes the air compressor lets out compressed air with a big whoosh. The air is being vented out frequently because we do not have much use for it at the moment.

Dominating the Dahej skyline are two 55 metres tall and 83 metres wide grey painted LNG storage tanks and the three smaller tanks: two to store water and one to store diesel. Some distance from the tanks stand four tall LNG unloading arms that will suck out LNG from the tanker when it berths at the jetty.