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Minister to lay foundation stone for LPG cavern storage project

Our Bureau

Visakhapatnam , Feb. 18

THE Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Ram Naik, will lay the foundation stone for the 60,000-tonne LPG underground cavern storage project here on Thursday.

According to a press release issued by South Asia LPG Company Pvt. Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and the French oil company Total SA, the project would be the first of its kind in South and South-East Asia. It is meant to meet the growing demand for LPG in Andhra Pradesh and other southern States.

Underground cavern storage is the safest means of storing hydrocarbons and it is a method adopted by the developed nations to meet their fuel needs. There are over 80 such underground caverns in the world.

Caverns are safe from warfare, sabotage and natural calamities and there is no risk of leakage. They need much less area than surface storage facilities, the release said.

The infrastructure here is excellent for setting up the caverns. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust has constructed a special jetty in its outer harbour for receiving large tankers. The berth has a draft of 16 m, which will facilitate docking of ships with LPG parcel size of up to 40,000 tonnes. This can lead to freight saving of approximately $16-20 per tonne of LPG.

The downstream facilities of HPCL, coupled with GAIL (India) Ltd pipeline from Vizag to Hyderabad, will help in feeding the region including Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

The press release said that there are also re-export possibilities to the neighbouring South-East Asian countries.

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