The recent road accident in Kannur involving an LPG carrier highlights the need for ending road movement of LPG

Indian Oil Corporation’s proposed LPG receiving and storage facility in Kochi is likely to get going soon with the public sector oil company having decided earlier this week to go ahead with the project after a delay of more than three years.

The proposal for setting up an LPG terminal came up in 2009 and Cochin Port Trust allocated 37 acres on long-term lease to the oil company. The land was allotted on Puthuvype island.

The recent road accident in Kannur involving an LPG carrier highlights the need for ending road movement of LPG. The accident has claimed 11 lives so far.

According to industry sources, Cochin Port Trust is likely to be entrusted with the construction of the LPG receiving jetty, which according to earlier estimates will cost up to Rs.170 crore. The total project cost is likely to be in the range of Rs.600 crore with the storage facility and pipeline to Udayamperoor bottling facility being the different parts of the project.

The oil company is likely to consider laying a pipeline to its Udayamperoor bottling plant to completely do away with road movement of LPG.

Held up

The delay in setting up the terminal had prompted the State government to authorise Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) to act as a facilitator. The corporation had a couple of meetings with IOC officials but the project continued to be held up for various reasons.

One of the reasons was that IOC did not want to use Cochin Port Trust’s Cochin Oil Terminal for import of LPG due to safety considerations. The Port Trust then aligned the LPG terminal project with its ambitious plans to set up a Multi-User Liquid Terminal. The MULT project, yet to take off, is likely to be dropped for the time being to facilitate the building of the LPG terminal, sources said.

Kerala requires approximately 25,000 tonnes of LPG per month and the entire quantity is transported via road using more than 1,500 tanker trips, which covers the distance between Mangalore and Kerala destinations like Ernakulam in 12 hours.

Building of the LPG terminal will pave the way for clearing the Kerala roads of the LPG tanker lorries, which continuously pose a safety threat.

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