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Putting in place a 520-tonne roof

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DIFFICULT TASK:Managing Director and CEO
DIFFICULT TASK:Managing Director and CEO

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: It was a triumph of technology and determination and one that engineers and workers savoured so much that Managing Director and CEO of Petronet LNG Limited (PLL) P. Dasgupta called it “rocket science.”

Sweating, he came into the site office of the LNG terminal on Puthuvype Island congratulating his engineers and workers like a general greeting his soldiers, who had just won a battle for him.

“Now we can say that LNG is in Kochi,” he said with a broad smile and sipping tender coconut water.

“Building the tank was just brick work compared to what we did today in fixing the roof,” he told The Hindu after he witnessed how the 520-tonne roof for the first of the two LNG tanks was lifted using air pressure and then was welded into place in about three-and-a-half hours.

The work of lifting the roof, without using the conventional methods of pulleys and ropes, began at 6.30 a.m. on Thursday.

As the 24 pieces of the roof reached their places, a throng of welders sprang into action to fasten them into place. From below it looked like a much-practised job. But it was not. Building the 1,00,000-tonne-capacity tank took 45,000 cubic metres of concrete and substantial quantities of nickel steel. The roof for the second tank, with the same capacity, will be put in place next month, Mr. Dasgupta said.

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