IOC to commission India's third exclusive LPG pipeline

Vol 12, PW 5 (24 Jul 08) Midstream & Downstream

Jalandhar in Punjab is best known in India for the production of hockey, football and cricket gear, with big names Reebok, Adidas, Dunns and Mitre all outsourcing from this mid-size town with a population of around 700,000.

But next month (August) it will also be famous in oil and gas circles as the final stop for India’s third exclusive LPG pipeline after the GAIL-operated 1175-km Jamnagar to Loni and the 600-km Vizag to Secunderabad pipelines. PETROWATCH learns Indian Oil is in the final stages of laying the 10-inch diameter, 275-km long steel pipeline, which will eventually evacuate 700,000 tonnes a year of LPG from its 6m t/y refinery at Panipat in Haryana.

“Our job is 90% complete,â€‌ reports a project source. “When it is commissioned, the pipeline will transport 500,000 tonnes rising to full capacity (700,000 tonnes) when the refinery expansion programme is complete.

â€‌ IOC is proud the pipeline is on schedule to be commissioned in August this year after trials expected to last one month. Approved by the IOC board in May 2006, workers from lead contractor KazStroy Services Infrastructure began laying the Rs400cr ($100m) pipeline in August the same year after environmental clearance from Delhi.

“We were given a target to complete the pipeline in 24 months,â€‌ adds a source. Beginning at Kohand near Panipat, IOC’s new 275-km LPG pipeline will first stop off at the company’s bottling plant at Nabha (population: 62,000) in Patiala, also in Punjab, before meandering on to the company’s bottling facility at Jalandhar.

“Until now we have been transporting LPG to both these two bottling plants by road or railways,â€‌ says IOC. “Transporting LPG by pipeline is much more economical and safe.

â€‌ Much of the LPG transported by the new pipeline to the Nabha and Jalandhar areas will be used by households as cooking fuel; some will also be sold to factories and commercial establishments such as restaurants.