Port-IOC tie-up will help pluck bullet tankers, carrying LPG, off the road.

The Cochin Port Trust and the Indian Oil Corporation are on the verge of signing an agreement on the use of the proposed Multi-User Liquid Terminal (MULT), which will also be used to import cooking gas via Kochi for the Kerala market. It will end the State’s dependence on tanker lorries for transporting fuel via road from Mangalore.

Movement of bullet tankers carrying LPG on Kerala’s roads has been a major threat, resulting in accidents like the one early this week in Kannur.

The proposal for building a terminal to import LPG has been a long-pending one and it has now been agreed that the Port authority here will build the terminal for IOC at a cost of roughly Rs. 180 crore. The terminal will be used between the two entities through the year — with import of LPG taking up only about half the days of the year, sources said here on Thursday.

The project proposal said that about 30,000 tonnes of LPG was being imported via Mangalore and moved through the roads in Kerala to various destinations. It took an average of 12 hours of road movement for the LPG imported at Mangalore to reach destinations in different parts of the State.

Once IOC and the Port authority agreed on the number of berthing days, the agreement would be signed, sources said.

The terminal will come up close to the LNG terminal on Puthuvypee Island and the Port authority is open to the idea of using about 102 acres near it for building tank farms for storage of imported LPG.

The LPG terminal is a long-pending project, approved by IOC way back in 2009. A total of 37 acres had been earmarked for the project.

The State government intervened in 2011 to revive the terminal project, and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) was appointed the nodal agency for reviving the project.

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