In a major boost to the stalled prime infrastructure project of IndianOil in Kerala, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) reconfirmed their order dated 02.08.2016 permitting IndianOil to ”go ahead” with their LPG Import terminal project at Puthuvypeen. The project work has been stalled from 15.02.2017 onwards due to protests, alleging that IndianOil is violating NGT order dated 02.08.2016.
P.S.Mony, General Manager and State Head, Kerala said that “The NGT passed an order today confirming that there is no prohibition to proceed with the work even as per the order dated 02.08.2016, and hence no obstruction should be caused to the project work”.
In case of any obstruction, IndianOil is entitled to take appropriate action in accordance with law.
IOCL is constructing a LPG Import Terminal of 6 lakh MT capacity per year at Cochin in Puthuvypeen SEZ of Cochin Port Trust. The Project also includes laying of a pipeline from the Jetty to Kochi refinery via IOCL’s LPG Plant at Kochi. This Pipeline would be hooked to the Kochi—Salem Pipeline, which is also under construction. The entire project which also includes a LPG Terminal being constructed by BPCL at Palakkad is expected to cost around Rs.2200 Crore. The pipeline is being constructed jointly by IOCL and BPCL.
The LPG Import Terminal is very important since the indigenous availability of LPG in the country is only half of the demand. The LPG customer base in the country is presently 15 crores, which is expected to double by 2020. LPG demand in the country is presently growing by 11%. The LPG consumption of Kerala also is expected to rise significantly by 2019. LPG Imports are expected to rise significantly by 2020 from the current levels of 50% and IOCL is augmenting the LPG infrastructure across the country including setting up of 23 new Bottling Plants, the Mundra—Gorakhpur LPG Pipeline besides the Import Terminal at Kochi and the Kochi—Salem Pipeline (with BPCL). The LPG Import Terminal at Kochi has been targeted to be completed by February 2018.
The LPG import terminal and the pipeline would ensure a smooth and safe transportation of LPG. The transportation of LPG thru pipeline would help us avoid 500 Bullet Trucks on the road thereby reducing road traffic. The State Government is expected to earn an additional tax revenue of around Rs.150 Crores per annum. The entire Project construction work is bringing in employment to over 300 people. The project will also benefit the Cochin Port as well in terms of the volumes handled and the number of LPG ships expected. Projects of this size also bring in livelihood opportunities to scores of people in the neighbourhood.
LPG Import Terminal is having all the statutory approvals including Environmental Clearance. The LPG Storage tanks will be in the form of “Mounded Bullets” which is the safest method of storage of LPG worldwide. The Tanks are covered by Reinforced Cement Concrete walls on all the sides. IOCL adopts global standards of safety across all its Projects. IIT, Chennai had conducted a study on the sea shore protection aspect of the LPG Import Terminal Project and have already given their clearance for the same. In short, the project is having all the clearances including that of Kerala Pollution Control Board.
IOCL has been regularly facing a lot of avoidable challenges in executing the project. The National Green Tribunal has given clearance for IOCL to go ahead with the project pending a final order on a complaint raised by a group of people. The Hon’ble High Court also passed an order allowing IOCL to work round the clock at the Project Site. Any delay in implementing the project would result in huge cost overrun besides creating shortage of LPG in the market. It is pertinent to note that the Petronet LNG Terminal and Oil Terminal of BPC are working smoothly in the neighbourhood.
IOCL is also setting up the Ernakulam City Gas Project in collaboration with Adani Group. The first CNG Retail Outlet is expected to be commissioned shortly inspite of the hurdles faced in its implementation. Investments on setting up LNG/LCNG stations are also underway for providing greener fuels with lesser environmental impact. IOCL is investing Rs.5,400 Crores in the State covering various infrastructure projects, which would contribute significantly to the State’s economy and its people.
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