Safety first for 300 workers at Shell construction site

Vol 6, PW 17 (23 Oct 02) Midstream & Downstream

ON THE EDGE of the Arabian Sea, as waves lap the Hazira shore, an excavator is busy compacting rocks brought in by dumper trucks for the 3-km long jetty and breakwater.

Another excavator is in action against the backdrop of two concrete mixing plants, one each put up by Punj Lloyd and Larsen & Toubro. Punj is charged with civil construction work ahead of laying foundations for the two LNG tanks while L&T is carrying out shore protection work.

Contractors at the site tell us about 300 workers are working on any given day. "Work is going slowly," we learn.

"Steel rods are being brought in to lay the tank foundation but work for the foundation is yet to begin." Shell insists on 'safety first' and helmets, boots, gloves and protective glasses are mandatory for all site workers. Progress is slower than at Dahej.

"Only preliminary civil construction is going on at Hazira," we learn. "Dahej is far ahead.

It will take Shell at least two years to build its Hazira facility, and only if work is speeded up." In short, Shell will be one year behind Dahej, which should be ready by December next year. Cut to the departure lounge of Vadodara airport for a foretaste of how Shell's LNG terminal will look when completed.

As you leave to board the aircraft you encounter a 15-feet long and 5-feet high illuminated Shell advertising panel - the biggest of its kind at the airport. Divided into two halves, one section has an artist's impression of the completed Hazira facilities.

Under the rubric 'Bringing LNG to Gujarat' is the future LNG terminal with one tanker unloading at the jetty; two onshore LNG storage tanks and neatly marked circular patches for two more. According to the caption, this is the (proposed) 'Hazira LNG Terminal'.