India to import five additional cargos of LPG

Vol 5, PW 1 (28 Feb 01) Midstream & Downstream

India is set to import an additional five cargos of LPG to offset a reported 100,000 LPG production loss at Reliance's refinery brought on by the January 26th earthquake.

Informed government sources in Delhi tell Petrowatch the additional five cargos - totalling approximately 80,000 tonnes - will be imported "before the end of this fiscal" year, i.e.

, before April 1st. We understand that Indian Oil - the sole "canalising" agency for crude and petro-product imports - will issue a tender notice shortly.

On 27th February, Press Trust of India reported that the Reliance refinery suffered an LPG production loss of 100,000 tonnes because of the earthquake. It adds that the refinery, which constitutes 30% of India's refining capacity, continues to experience problems with its Fluidised Catalytic Cracking Unit, which has been temporarily out of operation since January 26th.

Reliance said the FCCU - a secondary cracking unit, responsible for maintenance of the plant - will resume operations soon. Reliance stresses it invoked 'Force Majeure' only once after the quake to refuse a crude delivery and has since honoured its import and product distribution commitments.

"Despatches began from January 26th itself," reveals a source, "We don't see a problem meeting our diesel and kerosene commitments." Jamnagar is operating at 105% capacity, processing 580,000 barrels a day.