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Indian Oil to augment Kandla-Bhatinda pipeline capacity

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

New Delhi, Dec 4: Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will augment the capacity of its 1443 km-long Kandla-Bhatinda product pipeline from the current 5.6 million metric tonnes (MMT) to 11.5 MMT.

"In order to meet the increasing demand for petroleum products in the country's north-west region, augmentation of the Kandla-Pipeline has been taken up and capacity shall be expanded to 8.8 MMT by May 2000," IOC director (pipelines) SN Jha said in the capital on Friday.

Speaking at the third annual Indian Oil and Gas Conference, he said the Kandla-Bhatinda Pipeline Ltd (KBPL) will be further expanded to its designed capacity of 11.5 MMT by 2001-2002.

The demand for petroleum products in the country's north-west region is expected to grow to 16.6 MMTPA in 1998-99, he said. This is expected to go up to 20.2 MMTPA by 2001-02 and to 28.9 MMTPA by 2006-07.

"The demand-supply analysis in the north-west region reveals that there will be a deficit of about 5.5 MMT in 1998-99 which will increase to 7.3 MMT by 2001-02 and 7.8MMT by 2006-07," Jha said.

Augmentation of Kandla-Bhatinda Pipeline Ltd, which started operations in the year 1996-97, is targeted at quelling this deficit, he said. The demand in the region is at present being met by two refineries at Koyali in Gujarat and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

Jha said KBPL will also supply products from the recently commissioned 6 MMTPA Panipat refinery.

The KBPL project, which was approved by the government in 1993, has an estimated cost of Rs 2,392 crore of which Rs 891 crore makes up the foreign exchange component.

The first phase of the pipeline from Kandla to Sanganer was commissioned in March 1996. Subsequently, the Sanganer-Panipat section became operational n May, 1996 and the Panipat-Bhatinda phase was commissioned in June, 1996.

Jha said the time had come to accord infrastructure status to the pipeline industry, against the backdrop of the domestic petroleum sector's liberalisation, and several companies coming up with major proposals for pipelineprojects.

Recently, IOC had expressed its interest in picking up 50 per cent stake in the proposed 3000 km-long Reliance Pipeline project from Jamnagar to Hyderabad.

"We want to be an equal partner with Reliance in laying the infrastructure also, as we have a marketing tie up with the company," IOC chairman and managing director MA pathan had told reporters recently.

Negotiations are on with Reliance, and IOC will like to approach the government for approval with a firm proposal, Pathan had said, adding the pipeline proposal will need the Public Investment Board (PIB) clearance.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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