CPCL asked to cut down production as odour persists in north Chennai

Residents in Tiruvottiyur and Manali have been complaining about LPG-like odour in the area.

Residents in Tiruvottiyur and Manali have been complaining about LPG-like odour in the area. | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ


Following complaints of liquefied petroleum gas-like odour from residents of Tiruvottiyur, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has directed the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (CPCL) to reduce its production to 75% of its capacity.

CPCL is Tamil Nadu’s only crude oil refinery and supplies products among petrol, diesel, kerosene, naphtha, furnace oil, cooking gas, bitumen and wax.

The pollution control board has directed the refinery to furnish details of its daily crude oil consumption to ensure maximum output at the sulphur recovery unit (SRU) and to furnish the quantity of sulphur recovered in the plants.  

Since the odour has been persisting in the downwind direction of the CPCL refinery in Manali, 15 teams equipped with portable volatile organic compound monitors have been formed to monitor the ambient air quality in and around Manali and Tiruvottiyur at seven locations from Saturday. 

In addition to these teams, continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMs) have been installed in the upwind direction and in the downwind direction of the refinery to monitor parameters, including hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds and mercaptans (the gas that is added to provide smell to LPG) in addition to regular parameters continuously till Friday. A mobile CAAQMS has been stationed at Manali to monitor the air quality. 

In the first week of July, residents of Sathyamoorthy Nagar, Kaladipet and Ellaiamman Koil Street in Tiruvottiyur had complained of an LPG-like odour following which the CPCL unit was inspected and the company had been told to ensure that the incinerators attached to the sulphur recovery unit functioned at 98.7% at all times. It was given certain other directions pertaining to gas recovery.

However, with residents continuing to complain, the State government constituted an expert committee to identify the source of the problem. Based on the report of the committee, the monitoring teams have been checking various parameters.  

CPCL officials said that they were following the instructions of the TNPCB.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 9:55:48 pm |