LNG will be unloaded from ships to storage tanks and then pumped and mixed with boil of gas to condense in the absorber. From there it will be pumped by high-pressure pumps at 90 bar and vaporised. It will then be metered and dispatched through pipelines to consumers.

The Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s (IOCL) proposal to set up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import, storage, re-gasification terminal at the Ennore Port got the full support of local fishermen at a public hearing on Thursday.

At the hearing conducted by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board at the helipad of the Ennore Port, the fishermen said that the IOCL must ensure safety of the plant. “You must study past accidents so that they are not repeated. The quality of construction should also strictly conform to standards,” said Jayapalayan, founder of the South Indian Fishermen Federation.

Prema Munusamy, president of the Kattupalli Panchayat, who welcomed the LNG terminal, said that the district administration and State government must ensure jobs for the people of her village. “Our village has been enclosed by the compound walls of various companies. But we don’t have jobs. For so many years, our people did not have schools or colleges as we did not have bus or train facilities. Only now we have access to education. The previous generations need jobs,” she pleaded.

I. Sivasubburaj, joint managing director of the Madurai Power Corporation Pvt. Ltd., said the project should be hastened and the terminal opened before the 2016 deadline. V. Vijayan of Madras Fertilzers Limited said that the company had upgraded its manufacturing technology way back in 1997 to suit LNG. “It costs us Rs. 43,000 to manufacture one tonne of urea but if we use LNG the cost could be cut down to Rs. 20,000 a tonne. The move would benefit thousands of farmers in the State, who use urea,” he said.

Explaining the project, V. Damodaran, executive director (Ennore LNG Project), IOCL, said that the company and TIDCO had entered into a memorandum of understanding for execution of the project through a joint venture. He said that LNG would be unloaded from ships to storage tanks and then pumped and mixed with boil of gas (BOG) to condense in the absorber. From there it would be pumped by high pressure pumps at 90 bar and vaporised. It would then be metered and dispatched through pipelines to consumers.

The terminal with a 5 million metric tonne per annum capacity has the potential to expand capacity to 10 million metric tonnes per annum. He said that the re-gasified LNG would be distributed to power generation plants, fertilizer plants and other industrial units. The gas would also be made available for distribution to major cities in the State, Mr. Damodaran said.

Tiruvallur district collector Ashish Chaterjee was present at the hearing.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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