Andhra Pradesh

Crude storage cavern receives second consignment

Visakhapatnam:25/04/2008:Drilling in progress after the first blast to mark commencement of work on India's first underground cavern for strategic storage of crude oil in Visakhapatnam on April 25, 2008. Two large shafts approximately 90 meters deep will be built to house the operating equipment for the cavern.---Photo:K.R. Deepak

Visakhapatnam:25/04/2008:Drilling in progress after the first blast to mark commencement of work on India's first underground cavern for strategic storage of crude oil in Visakhapatnam on April 25, 2008. Two large shafts approximately 90 meters deep will be built to house the operating equipment for the cavern.---Photo:K.R. Deepak   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

The underground rock cavern will store strategic crude supplies to enable India to tide over import disruptions.

India’s first underground rock cavern for storage of crude to meet emergency requirements, which was supposed to be dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, has received two Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).

Though the Prime Minister’s visit is being rescheduled, Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), a special purpose vehicle wholly-owned by the Oil Industry Development Board, which developed the cavern, is going ahead with filling its chambers with imported crude.

The first VLCC Pioneer offloaded crude at HPCL’s Single Point Mooring (SPM) on Tuesday. Another tanker New Kassos, with a gross tonnage of 1.49 lakh and built in Tokyo, berthed at SPM on Wednesday. It is expected to unload the crude in a couple of days.

The ISPRL is mandated to develop three caverns at Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur (near Udupi) with a total investment of Rs.4,098 crore. The Vizag cavern will have a storage capacity of 1.33 million tonnes. The HPCL, which is expanding the capacity of its Visakh Refinery from 8.33 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes, has invested Rs.265.79 crore on its chamber with a capacity of 0.3 million tonnes.

“We have already received four million barrels and we will have 7.5 million barrels within a few days to meet our capacity,” ISPRL CEO Rajan K. Pillai told The Hindu.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is keen on having three caverns in the first phase to store five million tonnes of crude as a cushion in the event of external supply disruptions.

Underground caverns are considered environmentally safe for storing hydrocarbons. Visakhapatnam is also credited with having South and South East Asia’s first LPG cavern.

The LPG cavern developed by South Asia LPG Pvt. Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture company by HPCL and TOTAL of France has a storage capacity of 60,000 tonnes. Both LPG and crude caverns are located in the vicinity of Lova Gardens, close to Hindustan Shipyard Limited.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:36:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/crude-storage-cavern-receives-second-consignment/article7429823.ece

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