Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has begun a trial run on its 33-km aviation turbine fuel (ATF) pipeline linking the company’s refinery here to the Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, and has finalised plans to lay a 229-km pipeline linking Kochi and Coimbatore for cooking gas supply.

The LPG pipeline from BPCL’s refinery here to Coimbatore will be established at a cost of over Rs. 500 crore. The pipeline will eliminate the need for transporting by road cooking gas to bottling plants between Kochi and Coimbatore.

The LPG pipeline project is linked to the refinery’s integrated expansion and modernisation, which will result in the BPCL refinery producing 1.26 million tonnes of LPG. Kerala’s monthly LPG requirement is around 65,000 tonnes.

Executive director of the refinery Prasad K. Panikker told The Hindu on Thursday that the ATF pipeline, which cost Rs. 40 crore, was doing well and yielding expected results.

It was built to address the twin problems of pollution caused by transport of ATF by road and frequent disruption in supplies.

Commercial supplies through the pipeline are expected to begin in two to three weeks. The pipeline, built to pump 100 kilo litres an hour, will meet the expanding requirement for aviation fuel at the Nedumbassery airport, which is expanding business and building an entirely new international terminal.

The airport’s fuel requirement currently stands at approximately 15,000 kl a month and the new pipeline means that it has taken nearly 40 lorries off National Highway No. 47 on one of its busiest stretches in Kerala. Mr. Panikker said that BPCL was awaiting clearance from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board for the LPG pipeline project.

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