KOCHI: ON the eve of the talks convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthpauram to resolve the Puthuvype LPG import terminal issue, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said the upcoming terminal would significantly help reduce the backlog for LPG cylinder supply in Kerala, which is currently around 15 days.
It will also minimise the movement of bulk LPG tankers through the state highways, it stated.
“At present, IOC transports bulk LPG from Mangalore to various bottling plants in north Kerala in around 100 bullet trucks every day, which ply through narrow highways. A pipeline connecting the proposed LPG import terminal to Kochi Refineries Ltd and the LPG bottling plants at Udayamperoor, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Erode and Salem will go a long way in reducing congestion on the state highways,” the IOC said in a statement here on Tuesday.
The comprehensive project, comprising the import terminal, a multi-user liquid terminal, the Kochi-Salem LPG pipeline and a bulk terminal in Palakkad, is being set up at a cost of `2,200 crore, of which around `670 crore is towards labour expenses.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had in August 2016 permitted Indian Oil to continue with the work. However, a small group of people has been obstructing the work since February 16 this year, it said. The NGT, in its order on April 13, has reconfirmed its August 2016 order permitting IOC to continue with the work. The Kerala High Court too had permitted IOC last year to carry out the work round-the-clock.
During the NGT hearing on April 13, the agitators committed to the Tribunal they would not obstruct the work nor would they instigate others to cause obstruction, the IOC statement said. The oil PSU has been suffering a loss of around `1 crore per day since the obstruction of work from mid-February, it stated.
IOC said the terminal was being equipped with automatic fire-protection systems as per the norms of the Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD). It is being constructed in the Special Economic Zone notified by the Central Government in 2006 for the specific purpose of setting up industries. The coastal stretch of the project is only 690 metres and hence, it will not disturb fishing activities.