The lead time for liquefied petroleum gas to move from the harbour to bottling plant will come down drastically with the commissioning of a new facility at the Ennore Port and ensure timely availability of LPG to meet the State’s demand.Dedicating to the nation the facility and additional terminal facilities for petroleum and chemical products on Wednesday, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said with an initial capacity of 0.6 million tonnes, it was expected to ensure uninterrupted supply of LPG to Tamil Nadu. It would circumvent hazardous and long road transportation from nearby ports.

The total monthly demand of LPG in Tamil Nadu is 1.32 lakh tonnes, of which 32,000 tonnes are met indigenously. The rest is imported through Mangalore and Visakhapatnam ports from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Thereafter, it is transported by road to Chennai and other cities.

Developed by Ennore Tank Terminals Pvt Ltd (ETTPL), the Marine Liquid Terminal has been expanded to handle additional storage capacity of 1.24 lakh kilolitres of petroleum-oil-lubricants and chemicals with an investment of Rs.85 crore and the laying of LPG pipeline at a cost of Rs.82 crore. With this, the total storage capacity stands at 2.43 lakh kilolitres in 63 tanks.

The project facilities include a jetty with 360 metres of berth designed to handle large vessels up to 1.50 lakh dead weight tonnage. The berth has a fire-fighting system to handle very large gas carriers.

The tank farm to store and transfer the liquid cargo is located about 4 km from the jetty. ETTPL has also built a 1.30-km pipeline trestle of 12-metre width, stated an official release.

“It is the first project to be carried out by the Ennore Port under the public-private partnership model and stands as a shining example. The project was completed in 18 months against the proposed time of 36 months. Following its success, the Centre has identified PPP as the model for attracting investments in port development projects,” Mr. Vasan said.

S. Velumani, EPL chairman-cum-managing director, said over the last four years, EPL attracted investments of Rs.1,180 crore through PPP model and Rs.390 crore for infrastructure projects.

Atulya Misra, Chennai Port Trust Chairman, said the trade needed more ports to either export or import their products. The commissioning of new handling facility at Ennore Port would assist ChPT in a big way.

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