KOCHI: With the district administration facilitating the resumption of the construction of LPG Import Terminal at Puthuvype, the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has set 18 months as the deadline to complete the work.
“Around 45 per cent of the work is over. If the work was not halted, we would have commissioned the project by now. We had held around 30 meetings with the protesters and addressed almost all their concerns. Still, some people were unconvinced,” IOCL general manager-in-charge (LPG) C N Rajendra Kumar told TNIE. He said global safety standards have been adopted at the Puthuvype terminal. “Around one third of the terminal’s cost is being spent on safety,” he said.
He said around 75,000 bullet tankers criss-cross the state a year, transporting LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) from Mangaluru. “This is highly risky. In the past five years, the state witnessed over 60 accidents involving bullet tankers which created panic owing to LPG leakage. Accidents are still taking place and the threat of a disaster is lurking. LPG tanker accidents in Karunagapally in 2009 and Kannur (Chala) in 2012 pointed towards the need to find an alternative,” said Kumar. The IOCL came up with the Kochi-Salem LPG pipeline project to eliminate road transportation of LPG, said Kumar.
“The joint venture of Indian Oil and Kochi Salem Pipeline Pvt Ltd (KSPPL) is already in the process of laying pipelines in the state and we will completely shift bulk movement of LPG via pipes once the terminal is built. Protests against the project have put public safety at risk besides delaying the construction of the terminal,” he said. Assuring that the project will not pose any threat to the environment, Kumar said the terminal has highly robust and technically advanced infrastructure.
LPG terminal project estimated cost:
Rs 750 crore
Work stopped due to protest on Feb 16, 2017
Kochi-Salem LPG pipeline project:370 km
Puthuvype to Kochi Refinery: 42-km-long pipeline
Kochi Refinery to BPCL Palakkad: 155 km
Palakkad to Salem:215 km
IOC plans to lay pipeline from Kochi to Kollam to stop bulk road transportation of LPG