In a move which would help residents of certain areas of Punjab and would effectuate a drastic cut in heavy LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) transportation costs, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has started an exercise to lay 273-km long LPG pipeline between its Panipat refinery and Jalandhar-based bottling plant.
Although time frame and other formal agreements or negotiations have to be finalized, the IOC authorities hope to commission the proposed Rs 175 crore LPG pipeline by the end of 2008. The whole expenditure of Rs 175 crore on the project would be borne by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
The Jalandhar-based LPG bottling plant of the IOC is sourcing LPG from Panipat with the help of huge trucks (bullets). But what have forced the IOC to plan such a project of a direct pipeline between Panipat and Jalandhar are the high transportation costs and risks involved in the transportation of the LPG by road.
To bring the project into existence the IOC authorities have applied to the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for environmental clearance certificate. Since the pipeline would pass through areas in Haryana, a similar request has been made by the IOC to the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB). The procedure of recording objections, if any, of residents of those districts, through which the pipeline would cross and where land acquisition may be required, has also taken off at district administration levels in Punjab and Haryana, said the IOC sources.
In addition to supply of LPG through bullets, the IOC plant at Suchi Pind near here is getting four of its products (diesel, kerosene, petrol and aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF)) at the plant via a single pipeline, which connects the plant to the Panipat refinery. The fuel received by means of pipeline is then transported by road to various areas of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. In case of ATF, needs of Amritsar, Jammu, Pathankot airports are also met to this plant.
And if the proposed pipeline is installed, LPG would also reach Suchi Pind Plant of the IOC from the Panipat Refinery. Practicability of the proposed project is also being studied by the IOC, which, is armed with a 18 foot wide right of way for its existing oil pipeline.
Mr. Gaurav Chibba, Senior Operations and Maintenance Engineer of Mathura-Jalandhar Pipeline project, IOC, said, “We may not require additional land at most of places.”
Hoping that the proposed project would not reduce only highway traffic hazards, but, it would also result in cutting of transportation costs to mere 30 per cent of the existing amount, Mr. Chibba said, “The IOC would be saving large sum of money when this project comes to life.”
The IOC sources pointed out that the pipeline would definitely cut traffic congestion on the Jalandhar-Delhi highway, which will become safer for vehicle users once huge bullets were off the road. An IOC official pointed out, “There will be no risk of tanker leaks and other such freak accidents associated with LPG transportation and the supply of LPG to the area will not get hit in case of strikes by truckers etc.”
The Ministry of Petroleum, it was heard, has already granted the proposed project and once it comes into existence LPG supply is probably to more smooth to residents of a number of districts of Punjab and it would also become more easy for the IOC to serve its consumers.