Essar to supply LPG through Jamnagar-to-Loni pipeline

Vol 12, PW 6 (07 Aug 08) Midstream & Downstream

By the middle of this month Essar Oil will become the third supplier of LPG into the Jamnagar to Loni pipeline operated by GAIL.

PETROWATCH learns state-owned engineering company MECON has completed laying a six-inch diameter 22-km long pipeline linking Essar’s 10.5m t/y refinery at Vadinar to the GAIL pipeline at Jamnagar. Essar confirms to this report that initially it will begin pumping in the equivalent of 180,000 tonnes LPG per annum until September, rising to an equivalent 480,000 tonnes LPG per annum from October 2008 onwards.

Until now, road tankers evacuate all of Essar’s 540,000 tonnes of annual LPG production from Vadinar. With a length of 1269-km, the Jamnagar to Loni pipeline can transport 2.5m t/y and according to GAIL, is the world’s longest pipeline exclusively dedicated to LPG.

It originates from Reliance’s 33m t/y refinery at Jamnagar and terminates at Loni in Shahadra on the periphery of Delhi. LPG for this pipeline is pumped in from the Reliance refinery complex at Moti Khavdi and Indian Oil’s import facility at Kandla.

Essar will now join IOC and Reliance, with first supplies beginning in the next few days. On its way to Delhi, the Jamnagar to Loni pipeline crosses Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

With five pumping stations and five tap-off points, it transports LPG to re-sellers IOC, Bharat and Hindustan Petroleum. En route, the LPG is evacuated at Ajmer and Jaipur in Rajasthan, Piyala in Haryana, Madanpur Khadar in Delhi and Loni in Uttar Pradesh – all locations where IOC, BPCL and HPCL have LPG bottling plants.

GAIL commissioned the Jamnagar to Loni pipeline on January 31, 2001 at a cost of Rs1229cr ($292m). Dedicated to the nation on May 9, 2001, a chunk of project money came from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, which sanctioned a $121m loan.

Besides the Jamnagar to Loni pipeline, GAIL also owns and operates another 653-km long LPG pipeline between Vizag and Secunderabad. Both pipelines have successfully replaced rail and road transportation of LPG – which can only be good news for the environment.