BPCL and HPCL plan sub-sea LPG pipeline to Uran

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

Not many people know Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum are also planning a new LPG pipeline linking their Mumbai refineries with a LPG bottling plant in Uran.

Directors at both state-owned refiners are waiting for approvals to fall in place before moving ahead with the 26-km long, 10-inch diameter steel pipeline to evacuate LPG from BPCL’s 12m t/y refinery and HPCL’s 5.5m t/y refinery, both in Mumbai, to BPCL’s LPG bottling plant and oil and gas hub at Uran. PETROWATCH learns a 14-km stretch of the Rs250cr pipeline will be laid on the seabed offshore Maharashtra while another 12-km will be laid onland.

Both refineries will be connected by the planned LPG pipeline, with a capacity to carry up to 1m t/y of LPG per annum - equivalent to total future production from both refineries: BPCL’s refinery produces 500,000 tonnes per annum of LPG while HPCL produces 369,000 tonnes, rising to 500,000 tonnes next year when the refinery expansion is complete. Most of the LPG from these two refineries finds its way to markets by truck and one of the immediate benefits of the new pipeline will be a huge reduction of traffic on the Chembur to Vashi highway where 100 â€کbullet’ (LPG) trucks carrying cylinders ply the roads daily.

“This leads to a lot of congestion,â€‌ we hear. “The pipeline is being laid to avoid that and to ensure smooth movement of the product.

â€‌ Expect several months before work begins. BPCL and HPCL teams are busy filing applications with several government agencies for permission to lay the pipeline and are unlikely to go to tender before this is complete.

For now the Uran bottling plant can process 132,000 tonnes a year only. Any excess will be loaded on to rail wagons at Uran and shipped to other LPG bottling plants across the country, such as to a nearby HPCL facility in the Pen district of Maharashtra, some 40-km away.

“Once the pipeline is commissioned,â€‌ we hear, “you can load 60-70 rail wagons at a time and that means 1200 tonnes of LPG can be evacuated from Uran in one go.â€‌