Vol 3, PW 16 (01 Sep 99) People & Policy

Reliances much-publicised 27m t/y refinery at Jamnagar, meanwhile, continues to experience major teething problems, despite concerted attempts by the company to give an impression that all is well.

This report learns Reliance is still unable to dispatch petro-products from the refinery by ship due to serious problems with a nearby jetty. The reason: the jetty does not meet the standards set by Indias Oil Coordination Committee (OCC) and the public sector oil companies, responsible for ensuring that international standards at Jamnagar are fully complied with.

Petrowatch learns a team comprising OCC officials and public sector oil company representatives visited the jetty in the last week of August and pointed out several serious shortcomings. Among these were a lack of fire-fighting equipment; lack of fresh water for the ships and a mismatch between the valves onshore and the valves on the ships.

Result: the team refused to pass the jetty and directed Reliance to remedy the shortcomings as soon as possible. Reliance has promised to comply but will not be able to use the jetty until a second inspection by the OCC-led team.

Reliance is confident the first tanker will be able to dock at the jetty by the first week of September. Till then, it will have to continue dispatching the finished products by road.

"Reliance just wanted to hurry up things and somehow get ships to dock at the jetty", a member of the inspection team in Mumbai tells this report, "Their inexperience and lack of knowledge is beginning to show through". He adds: "We could not overlook these vital defects and clear the jetty".