NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal to allow foreign companies to store oil at the strategic oil storage in Padur, Karnataka, on the condition that they will need to part with the oil in case of an emergency in India. India currently has 5.33 million tonnes of emergency storage in underground rock caverns in Mangalore and Padur in Karnataka, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. While Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has arranged to use about one-third of the Visakhapatnam facility’s capacity, the Government of India and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) have filled up the storage at Mangalore.
However, the 2.5 million tonnes Padur facility has remained empty thus far. “The filling of the strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) under public-private-partnership model is being undertaken to reduce budgetary support of government of India,” an official statement issued after the meeting said. The Padur storage facility has four compartments with a capacity of around 0.625 million tonnes each.
Dredging Corp to be sold
The Cabinet also approved the strategic sale of the government’s stake in Dredging Corporation of India to a consortium of four ports. The government currently holds 73.44 per cent in the company. “CCEA has given in principle approval for strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent Government of India’s share in DCIL to consortium of four ports, namely Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust,” the government said.The approval will further facilitate the linkage of dredging activities with the ports.