The commissioning of the ATF pipeline from Kochi Refinery to the airport is a milestone in the history of the state, said K M Mani, minister for finance, law and housing, on Saturday, at the Cochin International Airport. He was inaugurating the 33-km Aviation Turbine Fuel pipeline which can carry aviation fuel from the BPCL-Kochi refinery to the airport directly.
BPCL has majored into a development partner of the state and has supported the Kannur Airport project by taking 23 per cent stake in the project, he said.
The minister commissioned the pumping of the aviation fuel from the refinery by pressing a remote button from the airport. K Babu, the minister for fisheries, ports and excise, said in his presidential address that the ATF pipeline project was considered the most ideal means for a quicker supply of the aviation fuel to the airport.
Widening of roads was considered impractical as lots of people would have to be displaced. He said that the pipeline project will help save time and cost, especially in the long run. The government has also initiated a project at Sabarimala to recycle plastic bottles, the minister said.
The government has asked for the co-operation of the BPCL in this regard. Babu said that the state had plans to transport 20 per cent of its good and products via water ways to avoid roads and reduce pollution.
As part of a pilot project in this regard, a cargo ship will be deployed from Kollam to Kochi, he said. R K Singh, chairman and managing director of the BPCL, said that the company is planning to invest more in the state.
The ATF pipeline has been laid at a cost of `41 crore. There are also plans to invest Rs 20,000 crore in the state out of which Rs 14,225 crore will be allocated to the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project at Kochi Refinery.
A sum of Rs 6,000 crore will be spend on setting up a chemical complex in Kochi for which the company has initiated talks with the KSIDC, he said.
With the newly commissioned project, aviation fuel will be transported via underground pipelines to the apron of the airport where the aircraft is parked. The fuel that comes to the hydrants set 1 km away from the apron will be carried to the aircraft through mobile dispensers.