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Puthuvype LPG terminal will be completed within 18 months; construction will resume on January 20

By Jibi Sadasivan

KOCHI: The proposed LPG terminal project at Puthuvype will restart its work by Jan 20, 2019, said S Dhanapandian, General Manager, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Cochin LPG Import Terminal Project. The proposed terminal have Mounded Storage Vessels, similar to the facility at Udayamperoor LPG bottling plant, which are proven to be safer compared to above-ground storage vessels, he pointed out. He also said that there is 40% of physical progress in works were over and remaining works need 18 more months to complete. “The cylindrical tanks are embedded in sand and encased within a concrete structure. Only the inlet and outlet pipelines can be accessed. The mound of sand protects the vessels from fire, radiation from fire and acts of sabotage. It is a totally unprecedented advancement in safety. Compared to the traditional structures like Horton sphere and Horizontal bullets, the mounded tanks have better safety features,” he told reporters during a visit to the facility at Udayamperoor which was opened in September, 2017.

The three cylindrical tanks with 1,200-tonne capacity are erected on a foundation with 390 piles and a two-metre sand cushion. The tanks are embedded in sand and the top surface of the mound is covered with an impermeable cover to prevent ingress of water. The safety features three tier security systems include automatic firefighting and water sprinkling system, leak detection system with infrared gas detectors, computer-aided impressed current cathodic protection, emergency shutdown, anti-corrosion painting, safety relief valve to relieve excess pressure, emergency trip buttons and CCTV cameras, said Dhanapandian.

The 12-km long pipeline from Kochi Refineries Ltd (KRL) to the Udayamperoor bottling plant was completed at a cost of Rs 62 crore, while the storage facility was completed at an expense of Rs 50 crore. The pipeline helped avoid transportation of LPG by road, for which as many as 50 tankers were engaged. “When the LPG was transported by road we had back up for only two days. We have to supply around 50,000 LPG cylinders a day and even a one-day strike could create an acute shortage in the market. But now, we have a seven-day backup and we are able to reduce the refill backlog. If we are able to lay pipeline to the bottling facilities at Parippally in Kollam district and Chelari in Kozhikode district, we will be able to end the transportation of LPG by road in Kerala, which is highly risky,” said Dhanapandian.