With environment clearances delaying Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)’s product pipeline, the state-run company plans to commission its Rs 30,000-crore refinery at Paradip in Odisha this September.
The 15-million-tonne per annum (mtpa) project was scheduled to be commissioned last year but got delayed due to labour and land issues, beside slow progress on the power plant front. According to company executives, a little over 90 per cent of the refinery work is over. “The captive plant Bharat Heavy Electricals was building is in place and the refinery will be commissioned in September," said M M Vijaywargiya, executive director, IOC.
The 1,108-km pipeline is yet to get final clearances from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). The pipeline will cover Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. "Clearances are in place as far as two other states are concerned and ground development work has already started. But for Odisha, we are yet to get some final forestry approvals from MoEF. This needs to be in place for the viability of the project, as it would carry the fuel produced to consumers,” he said.
The Paradip-Raipur-Ranchi pipeline is expected to cost around Rs 1,800 crore and would transport about five million tonnes of products. The project, conceptualised in 2009, took a little more than three years to get even stage-I forestry clearances from the Odisha government. The pipeline will have intermediate pumping stations at Jatni and New Sambalpur and delivery stations at Jatni, Jharsuguda, Ranchi, Raipur and Korba.
The company will start the refinery with 50 per cent capacity in the first phase. “To start with, the plant would be working at a capacity of 7-7.5 mt. Within six to 12 months of commissioning, once the stabilisation period is over, it would be enhanced to full capacity,” Vijaywargiya added.
Until the pipeline is in place, the company would have to depend on traditional transports to supply refined products.
The Paradip project is expected to meet the deficit in products such as LPG, naphtha, jet/kerosene and diesel in the eastern parts. Apart from a crude and vacuum distillation unit, the refinery would host a hydrocracking unit, a delayed coker unit and other secondary processing facilities. IOC had acquired 3,344 acres for the project works, which started by the end of 2009.