Gammon starts dredging Dabhol shipping channel

Vol 13, PW 16 (28 Jan 10) Midstream & Downstream

Dredging of the Dabhol shipping channel has at last begun - bringing the much-delayed Ratnagiri Gas and Power LNG terminal one step closer to commissioning! PETROWATCH learns Mumbai-based civil construction contractor Gammon India last week surveyed the seabed offshore Dabhol over three days to estimate what quantity of silt and rock needs to be dredged to allow the first LNG tanker to berth.

This data was interpreted by Fugro in Mumbai with a team from Engineers India (EIL), Ratnagiri’s Project Management Consultant, also present. Gammon has begun dredging the most critical area of the Dabhol shipping channel, which is 300 metres wide and 4-km long.

Industry sources estimate that dredging will take two months. “We want to import the first LNG cargo by April,â€‌ says our Ratnagiri source, “followed by another in May.

â€‌ He adds that the first LNG cargo will be approximately 110,000 cubic metres and will be mainly used to commission the terminal. But the second cargo will have a full load of 138,000 cubic metres for commercial sale.

EIL, meanwhile, has submitted its technical recommendations to Ratnagiri about which contractors should be selected to construct the Dabhol breakwater. Punj Lloyd, AFCONS, Essar and RDS Project are among those shortlisted.

“GAIL will decide when to open the price bids,â€‌ we learn. Separately, UK-based Whessoe is carrying out pre-commissioning checks of the Dabhol terminal facilities, including the unloading arms and two of the onshore LNG storage tanks, each with a 160,000 cubic metre capacity.

Meanwhile, under repair is the third onshore LNG storage tank whose foundations were damaged by water seeping though. “That entire tank was lifted up and the insulation was replaced,â€‌ says Ratnagiri Gas.

“Now the tank is being welded back to the surface.â€‌ Ratnagiri Gas expects the third tank to be ready by December.